PLAINFIELD, IL — Village Trustees voted Monday to ban recreational marijuana dispensaries from opening in Plainfield. The vote was not unanimous, but a majority of trustees said the social and potential law enforcement costs outweigh the potential benefits.
Recreational sales and possession of marijuana will become legal in Illinois in January. Municipalities in the state can’t ban possession of pot, but they can opt to prohibit dispensaries from opening in their jurisdiction.
Plainfield in September held a workshop to discuss the new marijuana laws when a majority of trustees signaled strong opposition to allowing dispensaries in town. On Monday, trustees made it official, voting to prohibit local marijuana sales.
Trustee Cally Larson, who at the workshop was one of those most strongly opposed to local dispensaries, said Monday she had spent the intervening time learning more about the new state law. She noted how well regulated the growing and selling of marijuana is, but that she “can’t move past” potential law enforcement issues, including the lack of ways to conduct field sobriety tests for marijuana usage.
Trustee Brian Wojowski said he has no concerns about personal marijuana use in the home, but he said the social costs will outweigh any benefits marijuana sales could bring. That includes tax dollars, which he estimated at about $25,000-$40,000 a year. But that could be offset in increased law enforcement costs and other expenses associated with the drug’s social impact.