After more than a year of debate, the Naperville City Council has voted to allow recreational marijuana sales in Illinois’ third-largest city.
The vote, which came down as six council members for and three against, finally puts an end to a debate that has been going on ever since the state approved recreational marijuana sales in 2019.
“Everyone who is a scientist who I have talked to does not think that this warrants the kind of fear that people seem to have,” Councilwoman Judy Brodhead said.
Brodhead said that she had initial reservations against sales of marijuana, but after her discussions with experts on the subject, she moved into the affirmative column for Tuesday’s vote.
Councilman Kevin Coyne voted against sales.
“As you allow these stores to come into your community, you expand marijuana use and as use expands you see expansion of other kinds of drug use, and how much money is worth that?” he asked.
Naperville currently has one medicinal marijuana dispensary, with council members agreed has not caused any issues in the community.
The marijuana issue has sparked plenty of debate in the city, with residents narrowly approving recreational sales in a non-binding referendum during March’s primary election.
The city council vote now paves the way for up to three recreational dispensaries to be opened within city limits, while specifying that the three dispensaries will need to be built at least one mile apart from one another.