BLOOMINGTON (WEEK) — The Bloomington City Council will vote whether or not to create a recreational marijuana task force to figure out how the city will handle the sale of it once it becomes legal on Jan. 1.
If approved the panel would have 10 members appointed by Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner and chaired by Ward 6 Alderwoman Jenn Carillo.
Members would include council members, local business owners and law enforcement officials.
For lifelong Bloomington resident Matt Erickson, the city figuring out how legal pot will work with the community before 2020 is a step in the right direction.
“The more knowledge the better,” he said.
“The more heads you put together, it can cause some confusion but the more people talk about it the more they’ll figure it out correctly. By using other cities as examples you know there is plenty of that out there that can help us.”
Others say reducing the stigma surrounding marijuana is something that should be a top priority as well.
“People hear weed and they think it’s bad but it’s used for medicinal reasons. I think the council should focus on destigmatizing marijuana and then move forward with everything else that they want to do,” Bloomington resident Joshua Johnson said.
Though not everyone is on board with it being sold in the city.
“We got bars up through here, bars don’t like [marijuana]. We’ve had people bring it into bars and bartenders don’t like it. I think they should delegalize it,” Bloomington resident William Miles said.
“I don’t know what else to say I just don’t want marijuana in Bloomington.”
Miles’ wife Martha is worried about how the younger residents of Bloomington will be impacted.
“I don’t think it is right for anybody to sell in town. If the kids get a hold of it they could hurt themselves and all these car accidents are because the kids are on it and I don’t think it is right,” she said.
Other municipalities in Central Illinois like Morton and El Paso have banned recreational marijuana businesses.