Quality of life for medical cannabis users and adult cannabis users will increase with a dispensary in Decatur
On Tuesday, March 17, residents of Decatur Township (~70% of all Decatur residents) will be voting in an advisory referendum on whether the city should allow the sale of cannabis and cannabis-infused products to individuals over 21. I will be voting yes for a dispensary and encourage you to vote yes. Between now and election day, I will be providing some of the top reasons I will be voting yes to a dispensary.
QUALITY OF LIFE FOR MEDICAL CANNABIS USERS AND ADULT CANNABIS USERS WILL INCREASE WITH A DISPENSARY IN DECATUR
A recent newspaper advertisement asking citizens to vote no to a dispensary depicted a young man smoking cannabis in a public place next to a stroller. Presumably, the ad was attempting to stigmatize those that currently use cannabis by showing them committing illegal acts (it is illegal to use cannabis in public places and around individuals under the age of 21).
A more accurate depiction of a cannabis user in Decatur may be an individual who is experiencing debilitating pain or a cancer survivor who is seeking relief from their cancer treatment. Medical cannabis has been legal in Illinois since January 1, 2014. However, six years since its legalization, the city still does not have a medical cannabis dispensary. Thus, medical cannabis users who live in Decatur must drive to surrounding cities to purchase products that can help them (meanwhile, prescribed opioids can be purchased at the local pharmacy).
According to the January 2017 report “The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research” produced by an ad hoc committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, several therapeutic effects of medical cannabis have been found including: 1) as antiemetics in adults with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, 2) improvements in spasticity symptoms in adults with multiple sclerosis-related spasticity, and 3) significant reduction in pain symptoms in adults with chronic pain (http://nationalacademies.org/hmd/reports/2017/health-effects-of-cannabis-and-cannabinoids.aspx).
CANNABIS PURCHASED AT A DISPENSARY WILL BE REGULATED AND PROVIDE TAX REVENUE TO THE CITY
Dispensaries can provide cannabis for both medical and adult-use purposes. Thus, having an adult-use cannabis dispensary fills a medical void within the city and provides other consumers over the age of 21 a product that is legal for them to use. Purchasing from a dispensary is safer as the products are regulated, as opposed to the purchase of unregulated products on the black market that may be laced with fentanyl.
The city should do more to help those citizens who could benefit from improved access to cannabis, and an adult-use cannabis dispensary enhances the quality of life for users. In addition, a dispensary and other related businesses create jobs and provide tax revenue for the city. I ask you to vote yes for a cannabis dispensary in Decatur.
CONTACT THE MACON COUNTY CLERK FOR VOTING INFORMATION
For more information about the election including how to vote early, please visit the Macon County Clerk’s Office website (https://www.co.macon.il.us/voting-election-information/) at or call 217-424-1333.