Mount Prospect to give recreational pot a second look

  • Paul Hoefert

    Paul Hoefert

 
Updated 8/5/2020 3:52 PM

With an Aug. 17 deadline for November referendums looming, Mount Prospect officials are reviving the recreational pot conversation.

On Tuesday, trustees agreed to talk Aug. 11 about the possibility of going to referendum on the issue, and the option of passing an ordinance to allow recreational sales.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Mount Prospect, which already has a medical marijuana provider, rejected recreational sales by a 4-2 vote in December.

Trustee Paul Hoefert, who was one of the trustees voting against recreational sales, said he would like the village to put an advisory, nonbinding referendum before the voters in November.

"You know that this subject is going to come up again," Hoefert said. "In my mind, we're running up against the deadline if we're going to go to referendum."

As an alternative, Trustee Michael Zadel suggested reviving the proposal that was vetted and discussed with public comment in December.

"Perhaps there is enough information gained in the last seven months of legalized cannabis to perhaps address some talking points," said Zadel, who voted with Trustee Colleen Saccotelli in support of recreational marijuana in December.

The village board in neighboring Arlington Heights voted 7-1 last month to overturn its ban on recreational marijuana sales.

Last weekend, Mount Prospect trustees received in their village board meeting packets a staff memo about recreational marijuana that showed the municipalities that have recently held referendums, Hoefert said.

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Mayor Arlene Juracek said the memo included a map showing nearby communities that allow recreational marijuana and revenue projections.

"I think we have all had time to digest how it's working in Illinois, versus Colorado or California," she said.

Juracek did not vote in December, since it was not a tiebreaker.

But she said, "It's no secret I would have voted yes, if it was a tiebreaker."

In December, when the village board voted to opt out of recreational marijuana sales, some trustees voiced concerns about the impact of cannabis on the community, particularly its younger population.

"I just can't believe that we can allow our youth, the future of Mount Prospect, to go ahead and become addicted to cannabis," Trustee Richard Rogers said at the time.

It remains to be seen whether any of the four trustees will switch their "no" vote.

"I'm open to the discussion," Hoefert said. "I personally would like hear from the people through a referendum."

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