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Most Mortonites agree with cannabis sale ban, some worry about lost profit

Morton has a history of holding traditional family values in high priority.

A few years ago, they banned video gaming within the village limits, and they still maintain strict ordinances on what stores can sell liquor and when.

That’s why residents for the most part say they’re not surprised the village has imposed heavy sanctions on recreational marijuana.

Monday evening, the village board voted unanimously to ban the sale, growth, distribution or transportation of cannabis within village limits.

“It indicates, to me as village attorney, the village board felt there would be some impact on the core values of Morton if cannabis business establishments would be permitted to locate within the village,” said village attorney Pat McGrath.

‘Family values’ were mentioned by name several times by people interviewed on Tuesday.

“They (the Village Board) have made a stand against certain things,” said Morton resident Greg Crider, “and I have to take a little pride in that. And that’s kind of what Morton’s about, I think.”

The village can’t ban people from using cannabis recreationally once the law shifts in January 2020.

That means the dollars of Morton smokers will be going somewhere else.

“East Peoria will get Morton’s money,” quipped Laura Bell, who lives in East Peoria but works in Morton. “Morton’s going to lose out on it. The same amount of people are going to smoke in Morton, they’re just going to get it somewhere else.”

McGrath says the board considered revenue possibilities from cannabis sales, but didn’t believe the benefits outweighed the costs.

Over the next few months, the village will be fleshing out its ordinances and policies regarding the use of recreational marijuana.

Any new rules will be published on the Village of Morton’s website.

Mason Dowling

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