Close to 200 Naperville residents opposed to the possibility of the city at some point enabling the sale of recreational marijuana held a rally downtown Saturday urging city officials to “opt out.”

“Naperville has constructed its reputation more than the years as a family members friendly neighborhood,” mentioned Jennifer Bruzan Taylor, 1 of the rally’s organizers. “There is absolutely nothing family members friendly about marijuana.”



Speakers at the rally integrated medical doctors, city council members, parents and neighborhood organizers who mentioned the city would see a rise in crime, drug use by youths and mental well being difficulties if recreational sales of marijuana have been permitted.

“We’ve heard from professional following professional you get expanded drug use, specially amongst young people today, in communities that let marijuana sales,” mentioned Naperville City Councilman Kevin Coyne.

Even so, Dan Allen challenged these beliefs and known as the opposition to legalized marijuana “worry-primarily based.” Allen was the lone counterprotester at the rally, saying that the drug had helped him with his anxiousness and other healthcare maladies.

“Worry is a drug that Americans are imbibing at a heavy pace,” Allen mentioned. “I’ve seasoned the positive aspects of marijuana and there is been a lot of research displaying the use aids get people today off other heavier, extra hazardous drugs like opioids.”



Naperville officials have estimated that a retailer would have to produce $10 million in sales annually for the city to get $475,000 in tax income.

In Colorado, exactly where recreational use of marijuana has been legal for extra than 5 years, the state took in extra than $266 million in income from marijuana sales in 2018. With roughly 570 licensed retail shops statewide, the typical Colorado retailer was accountable for just about $470,000 in tax, charge and license income.

But opponents do not see this as a tax problem, but rather 1 of morality.

“I assume tax income and performing the correct issue are two distinct problems,” mentioned longtime Naperville resident Ed Neill. “If a person believes that it leads to undesirable items, then the city need to opt out and every little thing I’ve ever study says it leads to undesirable items.”

The rally was held in downtown’s Central Park a couple of blocks away from the city’s nightclub district. Naperville police typically have to add added patrols on the weekends in an work to curb misbehavior by bar patrons. In the previous, police ran sting operations intended to catch violators urinating in the city’s parking garages as properly.

“I am not delighted with all the bars either and I assume that is a mess, but now you’d be compounding it with marijuana sales,” mentioned Naperville resident Kay Irwin.

Naperville’s city council is anticipated to vote on enabling recreational sales in the coming months ahead of statewide legalization Jan. 1.