Though the White County Board decided to table making a decision on whether or not to act on the Cannabis Ordinance for at least one more month, there was some discussion on the matter. The ordinance would prohibit the sale of cannabis outside of city limits in unincorporated areas, while still collecting up to 3% of the gross receipts of sales made in the municipalities located in White County. Grayville has already said yes, while Norris City has voted no. Enfield has yet to make a decision on the matter. The issue was tabled at their last meeting. McLeansboro voted no. Even if the White County board votes no, White County will still be able to collect up to 3% from the sale of cannabis in Grayville should a dispensary choose to locate there.
Don Puckett, who has been talking over the last couple of months with State’s Attorney Denton Aud, said, “The fact is the state has legalized the sale of cannabis in the state of Illinois. It starts January 1st. There’s nothing that’s going to keep it out of this county. It’s going to be legal. They are going to be able to smoke it. There’s so much they can carry.”
Individuals over the age of 21 will be allowed to carry up to 30 grams of cannabis flower. At the same time individuals can possess 5 grams of liquid concentrate THC cannabis, and 500 milligrams of infused cannabis (brownies, cookies, etc.).
It was then brought up for discussion how board members feel about the proposed cannabis ordinance. One board member said that he, like most people he has talked with in Norris City, are against it. He said he just didn’t think it was right to allow the sale of it in White County. He went on to say that a friend of his, who’s son lives in Denver, says what they have seen out there is an increase in the number of mental illness cases since marijuana was legalized in Colorado. Another board member said that he too was against it.
Sheriff Doug Maier said there is still no method to determine easily if someone is impaired. That is the biggest issue for law enforcement with this transition. He said he believes they will see an increase in the number of impaired drivers with an increase in cannabis use and an increase in motor vehicle crashes. There is a 5 nanogram limit, but there has yet to be an effective way to test that. There are 10 to 15 different field sobriety tests that can be done to determine drug impairment. Blood tests and urine tests can determine the number of nanograms of cannabis in a person’s system but cannot easily be tested on the roadside.
Puckett said he has taken a poll of individuals at his church and they are overwhelmingly against it and he, himself, cannot support it.
It was stated that cannabis is here, but it has also already been here and this is stuff that is being sold legally, so it is not laced with anything. If individuals choose to smoke it, at least they know that it is pure and not going to kill them. On the black market, drugs are cut with other things. They will mix things in. You don’t know what you are going to get. There is no quality control or licensing. No regulations whatsoever.
Again, it was decided to table the matter until the next White County Board meeting on November 12th. WROY/WRUL news will continue to keep the public informed on any developments with regards to the proposed cannabis ordinance.