Pot Stores Coming to St. Charles?
Pot Stores Coming to St. Charles?

Written by Julia Reinthaler and David E. Smith

Elected officials in the city of St. Charles recently voted (6-3) to move ahead to approve marijuana retail sales, with plans to allow one recreational pot shop east of the river and one west of the river. However, they have NOT voted to approve this yet, and are having a PUBLIC HEARING next Tuesday, September 17th at 7 PM at the St. Charles City Hall (2 E. Main St.) to hear from the public about whether St. Charles should allow businesses to sell recreational marijuana.

It is imperative that local officials hear from pro-family residents, especially the clergy! They need to hear your concerns about the consequences of marijuana sales in the area.

Don’t let proponents deceive you with their “tax revenues” talking points. According to a report published by the Centennial Institute, “for every dollar gained in tax revenue, Coloradans spend approximately $4.50 to mitigate the effects of legalization.” The costs of legal pot are not worth the costs to families, communities and individual lives.

Although the licensed growth, sale, possession and use of marijuana will be legal in Illinois effective January 1, 2020, the legislation signed into law by Governor JB Pritzker allows villages, cities and counties to opt out of marijuana retail sales. This gives communities the opportunity to say “no” to drug traffic and the retail presence of a federally classified Schedule 1 Drug, a dangerous intoxicant that the DEA deems has “a high potential for abuse.”

Far from being an innocuous drug that the marijuana lobby portrays as safe and even medicinal, marijuana has serious health risks that should alarm any parent and community.

According to a 2017 review from the National Academy of Medicine, cannabis use is likely to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia and other psychoses, and among regular users it is likely to increase the risk for developing social anxiety disorder.

According to a 2018 paper published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, people who used cannabis were almost three times as likely to use opiates three years later.

Another study, released in Australia, cited that patients with chronic pain who used cannabis experienced even greater pain over time, dispelling the myth that pot relieves pain better than other available pain medicines.

To understand the effects that marijuana legalization will ultimately have in Illinois, we need look no further than Colorado to see a cautionary tale of the unintended consequences of legalization.

In the six years since marijuana was legalized in Colorado, the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes who tested positive for marijuana has doubled. There have been increased rates in marijuana-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations and higher rates of violent crime. Though legal for 21 and older, more than a fourth of Colorado’s middle and high school students use pot more than once daily. Chronic use by those under 25 can lead to a permanent loss of up to 8 IQ points.

Knowing what we know about the tragic and often irreversible effects of marijuana, we cannot in good conscience permit a retailer to peddle a drug that robs so many youths of their futures and compromises the safety of our citizenry. Instead of making Big Marijuana richer and St. Charles a haven for those selling the drug and those seeking to purchase it, let’s make it a refuge for families seeking to shield their loved ones from this drug’s destructive path.

Next month’s meeting might lead to a vote that will shape the future of St. Charles.

Take ACTION: Click HERE to send an email to Mayor Raymond P. Rogina and all 10 aldermen, asking them to reduce drug traffic and protect the families they represent by passing a ban on the retail sales of marijuana. And if you’re able, please attend the September 17th hearing and make your opposition known.

Learn more about marijuana’s consequences at NoWeedIllinois.com.

See the U.S. Surgeon General’s Press Advisory about the health risks of marijuana use.

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