I ask the Owosso City Council to seriously consider not allowing additional marijuana businesses into our community. I say “additional” because unfortunately the council voted last year to allow medical marijuana businesses here. I realize a small majority of people in Owosso voted to legalize recreational pot last November, but that vote alone is not reason to allow any more marijuana growers, processors, provisioning centers, transporters or compliance facilities into our city.
I strongly believe that opening the door to recreational marijuana will only cause more problems. Crime and safety issues will increase in many ways, causing unsafe living and working conditions, as well as much more work and danger for our dedicated law enforcement personnel. My biggest concern is for our children, teenagers and young adults. Despite the proponents’ assurances that children will not be affected by the availability of marijuana, that does not ring true to me, and in time we will realize more danger to them as it becomes prevalent and so very available. The mere fact that marijuana can be acquired in the form of tasty gummies, suckers, brownies and cookies will be tempting for children.
Recently, an article in The Argus-Press entitled, “Hundreds of communities ban pot businesses,” brought this issue home for me. It was especially encouraging to read that so far more than 250 Michigan communities have banned marijuana businesses. I pray that Owosso will join them. Even in Colorado, which was the first state to legalize pot, 75 percent of municipalities and more than one half of the state’s counties wisely banned its sale. I hope and pray that our city council is wise enough to do the same.
I request the City Council publish via the newspaper and all other means available, well in advance, notice of future discussions regarding marijuana so that concerned citizens such as myself may attend. Or perhaps a citizen survey would be the best way to determine direction.
About a year ago, the Owosso City Council conducted meetings to discuss allowing medical marijuana facilities into our city. I attended those meetings and was very disappointed at the lack of attendance by community members. I was the only Owosso citizen to speak against allowing them to do business here. My hope is that when given the opportunity other concerned citizens will speak out against recreational marijuana businesses in our beautiful town of Owosso.
Joyce Enlow, Owosso