Cannabis is coming to town, Carbondale City Council says yes to recreational marijuana

By Bethany Rentfro, Staff Reporter

The Carbondale City Council voted in favor of recreational cannabis dispensaries in the city at their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday.

The council voted in favor of these dispensaries by a 7 out of 8 majority.  

Several citizens of Carbondale expressed why they felt recreational cannabis would benefit the city and how it would boost tourism to the area. 

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“We have had plenty of time to research this and come to our own conclusions,” Carbondale citizen Kyle Sullivan said. “If we don’t legalize the sale of marijuana, I can tell you that people of my generation are not going to be interested in going to school here.”

Councilperson Adam Loos said in a statement at the previous council meeting, he felt enrollment would go up at SIU if the city legalized cannabis.

“It was a bad idea for us to ever try to shed the party school image,” Loos said. “You know who smokes a lot of pot? Harvard students and Stanford students.” 

The council also made a decision regarding the sale of cannabis related products and drug paraphernalia. 

“State law still prohibits the sale of drug related paraphernalia,” Loos said. “However, staff could remove the prohibition against the sale of cannabis paraphernalia according to city code.”

Many citizens of Carbondale who were present at the council meeting said legalizing cannabis in the city would help to decriminalize the drug and generate tax revenue for the city. 

Some citizens of Carbondale were against recreational dispensaries coming to Carbondale, but the majority of those in attendance said they felt it was necessary and the council needs to move quickly with legalization. 

Robert Bartoni, a citizen of Carbondale, said it is great to have a system of regulation, but action needs to be taken now.  

“I don’t think there is a gap in research when it comes to cannabis,” Bartoni said. “So, I don’t think there is a need to pause on this issue.”  

The council proposed a 2% retail tax to allocate the funds, and this decision was agreed upon by a 5 out of 8 majority.  

Staff reporter Bethany Rentfro can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @BethanyRentfro.

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