Vote on pot “opt-out” tonight

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ST. JOSEPH, Ill. (WCIA) — Village board members tonight will decide whether or not marijuana can be sold within St. Joseph. 

Tonight’s potential vote on a resolution to “opt-out” of recreational marijuana sales comes after at least one public hearing dedicated to the matter last month. 

Although recreational marijuana use becomes legal on Jan. 1, 2020, the bill signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker earlier this summer included a provision that allows local municipalities to “opt-out” of allowing recreational sales. 

St. Joseph mayor Tami Fruhling-Voges said if board members decide to vote in favor of the opt-out, they’ll be echoing their constituents — many of whom are against the idea. 

She said the majority of speakers at the August public hearing were against recreational sales. 

“Me personally, I’ve had one person reach out to me personally that wanted it to be sold,” she said. “A wide margin of the majority are against it.”

Fruhling-Voges added that no one has been in contact with officials about launching a pot shop or dispensary, making the idea of economic loss “a non-issue” for the village. 

“With the cost of getting licenses and that sort of thing, I think it would be cost-prohibitive,” she said. “It would be tough for them in St. Joe.” 

Regardless of whether the board chooses to vote against recreational sales tonight, residents will still legally be permitted to use marijuana recreationally in their homes. 

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