Locals share their thoughts on legalization of marijuana in Illinois

Starting January 1st, recreational marijuana will be legalized in Illinois. Many people are in favor of the passing, but some right here in the Wabash Valley don't agree.

Posted: Jun 26, 2019 5:30 PM
Updated: Jun 27, 2019 10:04 AM

CLARK COUNTY, Ill. (WTHI) - In just a few short months, recreational marijuana will be legal in the Land of Lincoln.

The new law would allow possession of 30 grams of marijuana for people who live in Illinois.

People who are not residents would be allowed 15 grams of marijuana.

It would also expunge the records for Illinois people arrested in connection to minor possession offenses.

Despite what the governor sees as benefits, people right here in the Wabash Valley want no part of it.

Clark County, Illinois officials planned to say no to any bill legalizing marijuana in their county.

The Clark County Council hasn't officially voted when it comes to having marijuana dispensaries in the area, but some in the community say they're confident the council will vote no at the next board meeting.

Many community members in the area think this is a mistake.

Jackie Donnelly lives in Clark County, Illinois.

She thinks allowing the sale of marijuana in the county would be a good idea.

"It could be very beneficial to Clark County if they would choose to use it," said Donnelly.

Donnelly isn't the only one who agrees.

"I think it's dumb. You're costing yourself money. I mean obviously, if you sell marijuana in Colorado and Oregon's proved it within six months they were debt free. I mean eliminate the fact that you could make that kind of money here in your count," said Hinton.

James Hinton also lives in Clark County.

He hopes they will change their minds about having dispensaries in the county.

Warren LeFever is not in favor of legalization.

He said there are too many unanswered questions.

"It's more of a thing that people would just assume we're not ready for it. That's kind of the attitude that's the public attitude. We're not quite ready. It might be something in the future, but we're not ready, said LeFever.

"The more states that have recreational marijuana that gets.. there are only so many buyers in the United States and the fewer buyers to each state that would benefit. Colorado benefited handsomely because they were the first, but now as these other states get in, those profits there will drop," said LeFever.

Donnelly said she hopes the county comes around eventually but isn't so sure that will happen.

"It took them a long time to be able to legalize alcohol on Sundays, so I mean if they do change their mind it will be a long time," said Donnelly.

The board will vote on banning dispensaries next month.

Recreational marijuana will be legalized starting January 1st.

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