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Bloomington Council gives green light for cannabis task force

A task force will now look into legal pot and what the future could bring in Bloomington.

Illinois enters the realm of legalized marijuana for purely recreational use on January first and so far the response from local governments has been cautious.

After a lengthy discussion during Monday nights meeting, the Bloomington City Council voted 6-3 in support of creating a task force to discuss the legalization of marijuana.

The task force will consist of 10 individuals appointed by Mayor Tari Renner. It will include council members, law enforcement, business owners, an addiction expert and community members.

Their main fields of concentration will be zoning and taxation.

Those opposed to the task force said with the Mayor handpicking the task force it won’t equally represent all residents. While others cited that task forces haven’t worked in the past.

“From the standpoint of each and everyone of us bringing our best efforts to this we will net eventually the best solution for our community so I disfavor splintering it off. ” said Kim Bray of Ward 9

On Monday the council agreed to a revision of the original resolution to give the task force a 90 day try-out period and the business owners selected can’t have affiliations or aspirations concerning cannabis sales. As of now there are no council members named for the force.

Council member Carrillo who created the resolution and is passionate about the legalization of marijuana said she is frustrated by the changes.

“It’s seemed like for a group that talks about consensus and non division these seemed like petty amendments particularly because some of the folks who supported the amendments didn’t end up supporting the task force in the first place.” said Jenn Carrillo of ward 6

Those in favor of the task force said either way a lot of good can come from having people from different backgrounds focused on such a complex decision.

The force will give a presentation to the council in October.


Kaitlin Pearson

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