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Another phony controversy

Friday, Jun 6, 2014

* The state’s medical marijuana law mandates just 22, enclosed, high-security, high-tech cultivation centers be built. They’re multimillion-dollar affairs. You can’t just start planting seeds on an open field. In my opinion, the law is way overly cautious, but whatever.

One of those facilities is being proposed in St. Clair County, on the outskirts of the tiny town of Marissa (population 2100 or so). If you click here and roam around, you’ll see that the only thing besides empty land close to the proposed site is a Masonic lodge. It’s out in the middle of nowhere.

The proposed facility would be owned by a man who also owns two “regular” greenhouses nearby. He’s not some fly by night guy.

* But, of course, the local paper went looking for an opponent

One of the proposed center’s neighboring property owners, Jimmy Baker of Red Bud, said he is concerned the center will lower property values, cause traffic problems and create other problems.

“I’m worried about the kind of people you are going to attract to an area like that. There’s undoubtedly going to be some undesirables,” Baker said. […]

Members of the county’s Zoning Board will review the proposal during a meeting at 7 p.m. June 16. Baker said he believes the hearing is “just a formality” and the proposal will receive approval.

“I’m just thinking it’s a done deal whether people in the area like it or not,” Baker said. “These politicians are going to do what they want and it’s not going to be for the good of the people in the area.”

Mr. Baker most certainly has a right to express his opinion. And some folks just don’t like the idea of this new and “different” industry popping up in the cornfields.

But as I said above, this is not gonna be some thrown together weed joint. Employees will have to undergo background checks, so “undesirables” aren’t likely to be milling about. Yes, there will be traffic, but what does that mean? J-O-B-S. Marissa’s unemployment rate is 8.6 percent. How about we create some well-paying jobs and in the process ease the suffering of the sick? Maybe Mr. Baker, who lives 23 miles by car away from Marissa, can put some new service-related businesses on his adjacent land to take advantage of those new jobs. Maybe make some money for himself. Create some of his own new jobs.

Illinois is in desperate need of new jobs. Let’s not go backwards.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - CircularFiringSquad - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    “One of the proposed center’s neighboring property owners, Jimmy Baker of Red Bud, said he is concerned the center will lower property values, cause traffic problems and create other problems.”
    It is Marissa and Red Bud there are no property values

  2. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    Baker is from Red Bud? You can’t make this stuff up.

  3. - VanillaMan - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    Good intentions do not assuage bad consequences. Proceed with as much caution as applied to similar circumstances, in my opinion.

  4. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 12:50 pm:

    === Proceed with as much caution as applied to similar circumstances===

    You mean like if a big pharmaceutical company was planning to build a factory that made infinitely more harmful drugs like Oxycontin?

  5. - OneMan - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 12:50 pm:



  6. - the Patriot - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 12:50 pm:

    This is a multi-million dollar pharmaceutical facility. Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong ain’t runnin this out of the back of a 1968 Volkswagen bus. (although the product would probably be of higher quality). Welcome in my community, we need the jobs.

  7. - Jimmy - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 12:50 pm:

    You’d think a Baker from Red Bud would be pro-marijuana?

  8. - G'Kar - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    My college eliminated its horticulture program a few years ago, but we still have a large greenhouse. I keep proposing that the college use it for one of the twelve sites–should make up for the money the college isn’t getting from S’field!

  9. - titan - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    One might say NIMBY.
    But no one has a back yard that big.

  10. - Lady Piglet - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 1:01 pm:

    Prohibition has gone on for far too long. Maybe Mr. Baker should be more concerned about drug dealers exposing kids to much stronger and more damaging drugs than marijuana (heroin, cocaine, etc). Or maybe he should be more concerned about kids getting alcohol, much more dangerous in my opinion and easy to get.

  11. - wordslinger - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 1:06 pm:

    –“I’m worried about the kind of people you are going to attract to an area like that. There’s undoubtedly going to be some undesirables,” Baker said. […]–

    Yeah, those chemo patients are a real buzz kill.

  12. - Sunshine - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 1:14 pm:

    Hey….If I were already growing Pot, I too might not want the competition. Just saying….

    Wonder if he would be okay with a prison?

  13. - Chunga's Revenge - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    Does anybody have Mr bakers phone number? I would love to put some kind of snack shack next to this Enterp.rise

  14. - Jeff Trigg - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 1:18 pm:

    Undesirables? Like sick people with cancer, MS, Parkinsons, AIDS, Lou Gehrigs disease, paraplegics, and the like? Or like the rich people who can afford to go into the medical cannabis business? What a moron, wish I could be there to give him a piece of my Parkinsons addled mind.

    Unfortunately, with all the restrictions and regulations they put in place for this trial program, there are not going to be nearly as many medical cannabis patients as people seem to think. They’ve already gone after one Doctor looking to establish patient relationships and others in the profession will still be highly cautious for quite a while. Patients are going to have a really hard time convincing their Docs to take the risk and recommend cannabis treatment.

    A lot of patients will also not like the whole criminal treatment they are going to get before they can start medicating with cannabis. $100 state registration fees in addition to the doctor visit fees to get the recommendation isn’t exactly meaningless to disabled people with poverty incomes. Fingerprinting them all is over the top paranoia, also.

    Unless some major changes are made, IF they even extend this trial program, there just aren’t going to be many people joining the program. Its still a heck of a lot cheaper and easier to get cannabis on the black market. Illinois will be nothing like California, Washington, Oregon, or even Michigan’s medical cannabis industry, it’ll be magnitudes smaller.

  15. - ed - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 1:23 pm:

    That area has grown dope for years.So what’s the difference?

  16. - Lady Piglet - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    It’s time we learned to have compassion. Does anyone really think it’s worse to have someone consuming some marijuana to get relief from some very awful symptoms than taking pain killers with all the side effects they have to offer like nausea, constipation, and addiction? Compassion………

  17. - dupage dan - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    Isn’t Jimmy Baker the cousin/brother of Floyd R Turbo?

    He lives 23 miles away? Is that how far the Belleville News-Democrat had to go to find someone who is against the operation? Really?

    Frankly, I don’t see this place providing very many jobs - farming is mostly mechanical these days. Boy, what some would give to be underneath that bud picker!

  18. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 1:39 pm:

    ===farming is mostly mechanical these days===

    This isn’t a farm. It’s a gigantic hydroponic growing center.

  19. - Joe from Joliet - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    ===some thrown together weed joint===

    Ah, college.

  20. - Jeff Trigg - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 2:04 pm:

    “It’s a gigantic hydroponic growing center.”

    That is not something you see much in any of the other states that allow medical cannabis, for very good reasons. Medical cannabis is best grown in small batches, not in gigantic growing centers. It was obvious to me that this legislation was written by politicians that have no clue about growing cannabis.

    One plant turning into a hermaphrodite and producing pollen will put seeds in every other plant in the room. That is the biggest reason why there are no gigantic growing centers in California, Oregon, or Washington and the vast majority of their cannabis is grown in small batches by individual growers. The stuff grown outdoors or even in greenhouses is usually sold at lower prices than indoor small batch grown cannabis. You have to inspect every plant every day if you want a successful crop. Another reason this legislation as it stands now will never work over the long-term. Higher prices than is necessary and lower quality.

  21. - Abraham Froman - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 2:10 pm:

    “Not going to be for the good of the people” —–

    Mr. Baker clearly isn’t aware that support for medical cannabis is about 2-1.

    Cultivation centers will need gardeners, bud trimmers, infused product/edibles makers, security, and now we can add crossing guards to list since traffic?!? is going to be a concern.

  22. - Living in Machiaville - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 2:24 pm:

    Take a gander at the proposed rules on the AG website. It’s going to take some major cash to get an operation approved much less producing. Worth the investment I am sure….probably like being in on the ground floor of a riverboat. Love to have one on my 12 acres.

  23. - Demoralized - Friday, Jun 6, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    It’s not like this is some drug house with people lurking at the door all hours of the day and night looking to get their stash. Sheesh.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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