DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — The city council’s decision to opt out of allowing retail marijuana dispensaries in the city was met with both loud applause and strong opposition Monday night. Hundreds of people showed up to the special meeting at the Decatur Civic Center. Dozens of people stood up during public comment to share their opinions both for and against the idea.
Adult use of recreational marijuana will be legal in the state on January 1. The incentive for cities to opt in on allowing recreational dispensaries would be to collect money from up to 3% sales tax, but the majority of council said they didn’t want to allow more opportunity for the drug to be more prevalent in Decatur.
One councilman suggested amending the opt out ordinance to include a provision of a binding referendum on the next ballot to allow the people to approve recreational dispensaries. That would mean whatever the community decides is what sticks, and the council can neither deny nor reverse it.
The city also voted against allowing marijuana processing facilities in the city, but decided to postpone on deciding what restrictions should be placed on the open use of marijuana. No word exactly when that vote will be.