No matter how you feel about the legal sale of marijuana for recreational use, you have to admit the drug isn’t going anywhere.
Even Congress is closer than ever before to legalizing and taxing marijuana nationally.
If it’s not going away, the only question left is who gets to benefit from the burgeoning economic powerhouse that is the marijuana industry.
When it comes to local governments, the answer is: Only those that allow commercial sales within their borders. The law allowing the sale of marijuana gives big tax revenue to local governments that allow it.
That’s why we support the Alpena Municipal Council’s recent decision to allow recreational marijuana sales here. It will bring tax revenue, and that’s a good thing.
We understand marijuana comes with problems, and we do not encourage its use. For those who do use it, we urge them to do so responsibly, to never drive or go to work while high, and to keep the drug away from their children.
But, with the right police presence – and we trust our police in Alpena – and the right zoning rules to keep the marijuana businesses where we want them (which the Municipal Council has done), allowing the sale of marijuana here can make sure Alpena doesn’t lose out to neighboring municipalities on the tax revenue that could help combat illegal marijuana use, such as stoned driving.
The Municipal Council made the right call.