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On Policy: Marijuana’s Legal, Allow its Sale

After deadlock on the Environment and Land Use Committee, zoning ordinances for marijuana-related businesses in unincorporated areas of Champaign County are going to the board for vote. Proponents laud the potential tax windfall from potential businesses, while opponents fear children will be tempted to use the drug.

Lets consider the facts. Illinois legalized recreational marijuana earlier this year. The Champaign Board voted to tax marijuana-related businesses. Selling marijuana to minors will continue to be illegal. Even if marijuana sale is disallowed in these communities, citizens will be able to purchase marijuana elsewhere; Champaign and Urbana are only a short drives away.

Fear from opponents are purely unfounded. Legalization of marijuana has not increased use among young people or decreased graduation/dropout rates in Colorado. Use by teens in Washington state is also decreasing or remains flat. Scientific studies show that legalizing medical and recreational marijuana use is decreasing or having no affect on teen marijuana use. This tired old trope is played out.

The Champaign County Libertarian Party supports the right of people to choose for themselves what to do with their bodies. We support businesses and markets and the consensual exchange of goods. In light of evidence against increase youth usage in case studies around the US, we see no downside to allowing marijuana businesses. For these reasons, the Champaign County Libertarian Party urges board members to vote in support of pro-marijuana zoning ordinances.