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Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019 12:01 am

GET READY FOR GREEN

A majority of Springfield city council members this week said nice things about plans to tax recreational marijuana and establish zoning to decide where dispensaries will be allowed. During discussion of pot proposals up for a vote next week, one to establish a tax, the second to establish zoning, aldermen made the case that weed, no matter what the council thinks, will be legal in Illinois come Jan. 1, and so the city might as well get on board. We’re told that Ward 3 is in the mix for a pot shop – think a location near hotels, not far from a freeway exchange, where there would be plenty of tourists to buy the devil weed and pay a three percent municipal tax, in addition to sales taxes, and be able to stroll back to their rooms without fear of arrest for driving while under the influence. We did not – repeat, did not – say Dirksen Parkway or anywhere close to the Crowne Plaza Hotel, where there is vacant space. Should the city allow recreational sales where medical dispensaries are currently allowed, HCI Alternatives, which runs the city’s only medical pot shop, would also appear to have a dandy location, being in the heart of downtown within easy walking distance of two of the largest hotels in the city. Contributions from marijuana interests, information that already is available online from the Illinois State Board of Elections. “Why should all of us in this room operate under the premise that you’re always right?” Ward 3 Ald. Doris Turner asked. “Why can’t the collective point of view of the body be right?”

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