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updated: 6/10/2014 10:05 PM

E. Dundee won't block medical pot businesses

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  • While East Dundee officials say they won't block medical marijuana enterprises from opening in the village, one trustee says just because medical marijuana is legal doesn't make it right.

      While East Dundee officials say they won't block medical marijuana enterprises from opening in the village, one trustee says just because medical marijuana is legal doesn't make it right.
    Associated Press

  • Jeff Lynam

      Jeff Lynam

 
 

When it comes to housing dispensaries and distribution centers for medical marijuana in East Dundee, a majority of village trustees won't block it from happening.

Trustee Jeff Lynam is the only one expressing moral trepidation.

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"This is just another unraveling, fraying of the edges of the moral fabric of this country," Lynam said of medical marijuana. "We need to sew it up and stop it."

Last week, a representative from an undisclosed company asked Village Administrator Bob Skurla whether officials would object if it attempts to open a cultivation center and dispensary in the village, Skurla said. That's a question he presented to the board Monday night.

A maximum of 22 medical marijuana cultivation centers and 60 dispensaries can operate in Illinois with a state license and are subject to local zoning laws. The state has yet to issue either license.

State law bars dispensaries from being within 1,000 feet of a school, day care or child care facility. Dispensaries cannot be located within a dwelling unit or residential areas. Cultivation centers must be more than 2,500 feet away from schools, child care facilities and residential areas. The state legalized medical marijuana Jan. 1.

East Dundee laws restrict the enterprise to a manufacturing district east of Route 25 and north of Route 72, Village President Lael Miller said.

A majority of trustees said if there's a means for the village to benefit financially from such a venture, then they're interested.

"As long as it's legal in the state of Illinois, we have no moral opposition to it, and we see it as a source of revenue," Miller said.

In turn, the village could help the business make money, perhaps by basing a licensing fee on profits, not the individual number of bags sold, Skurla said.

"That helps them get growing, get profitable," Skurla said.

Trustee Allen Skillicorn doesn't want the village to be "tax hungry" and would oppose any new taxes against the enterprise.

"I don't see any reason for them having to pay extra because of the type of business," Skillicorn said.

Lynam isn't convinced people actually benefit from medical marijuana and said "normalizing or decriminalizing or legalizing" illicit drug use is one of the things that's leading America down the wrong path.

And just because something is legal doesn't make it right, he said.

"I was against the video gambling, and just because the state has allowed it doesn't necessarily make it right -- it becomes a moral relativism, if you will," he said. "I don't want to take the stand that says just because the state is no longer objecting doesn't make it objectionable."

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