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Question of the day

Thursday, Jun 6, 2019


Even though legal marijuana is coming to Illinois next year, Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder still isn’t ready to say if he favors allowing it to be sold in the city.

Local communities could opt out of legal sales under the law passed last week, although city residents would still be allowed to possess and consume it. Langfelder says he wants to talk more with Police Chief Kenny Winslow about the effect legal pot could have on public safety and law enforcement.

Langfelder acknowledges that if Springfield doesn’t allow it, some other nearby community almost certainly will… and will get the tax revenue from it. But the mayor says that’s only one factor in his decision.

* Springfield didn’t raise taxes or make big budget cuts this year, but that’s a first

In the last two years, the city council has cut millions out of the budget and raised the city’s sales tax by a quarter percentage point, the city’s hotel-motel bed tax by one percentage point and the city’s telecommunication tax by two percentage points.

* The Question: What do you think Mayor Langfelder will do about this subject? Make sure to explain your answer in comments, please.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Southern Illinois Mayor - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:30 pm:

    He should make it a top priority to capitalize on much needed revenue. I already know I have the support of my council and have instructed economic development to actively and tenaciously pursue any and all opportunity I ties.

  2. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:32 pm:

    ===He should===

    The question is what will he do.

  3. - Tommydanger - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:37 pm:

    The liquor is as highly regulated as any business enterprise there is in Illinois. Not too many if any communities would say “no” to liquor establishments being located in their communities, if not for the convenience of their citizens, then at least, if not more likely, for the sales tax revenue they generate.

    The recreational marijuana business model will be even more highly regulated than the liquor industry and for good reason. Just like people are going to purchase alcohol; whether in your community or the one next door, so too will the weed wackers purchase legal pot in your community or the one next door. Why suffer the problems of abuse of either product without having the revenue from sales to offset the problems or perhaps even grow your tax revenue.

    Standing on principles is fine, but principles won’t balance your budget for fix the roads, etc.

  4. - Back to the Mountains - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:38 pm:

    Either (a) set up a committee to give him recommendations at a future date, with said date being long after every surrounding town has taken action; (b) punt to the city council to avoid taking a stance; or, (c) not allow it and tell some “aw shucks” story about how his dad told him to stay away from the devil’s lettuce.

  5. - Leslie K - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:38 pm:

    I don’t know enough about the mayor to try to predict what he will do, but I do not think Springfield should opt out. There is the revenue issue, of course. But I think not allowing legal sales is more of a public safety concern at this point. If it is too inconvenient or time consuming to buy legally, many people will be inclined to continue to purchase on the black market or grow their own illegally.

  6. - Leslie K - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:39 pm:

    Sorry Rich–I wouldn’t have posted if I had seen your @2:32 first.

  7. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:40 pm:

    I don’t know him at all, but I think he’ll end up allowing it. Recreational cannabis offers more than just the sales tax revenue. It offers potential retail development that is sorely needed in Springfield and can help spur related development, potentially in food, music or the arts.

    There is too much vacant and underutilized retail space in Springfield to turn away an industry with this potential.

  8. - A Jack - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:42 pm:

    I think he will allow marijuana because he wants to be re-elected and the people of Springfield have been using it for years.

  9. - Mama - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:46 pm:

    The real question is what will the Springfield city aldermen do?

  10. - Truthteller - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:46 pm:

    He will allow it to avoid the wrath of one Rich Miller

  11. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:49 pm:

    He will allow it, because right on the edges of Springfield are two townships (Grandview and Jerome) that will also allow it. Grandview already has the areas only medical marijuana dispensary, and Springfield is currently missing out on the tax revenue from that with MMJ license holders driving just a few blocks north to Grandview. Langfelder couldn’t possibly be obstinate enough to do the same with the much higher revenues that will come from possible recreational dispensaries.

  12. - Back to the Mountains - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:51 pm:

    == Langfelder couldn’t possibly be obstinate enough . . . . ==

    Agree to disagree.

  13. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:52 pm:

    I’m not sure it will end up in Springfield. I mean, for crying out loud, Springfield has labeled Dollar General “not a good neighbor” and are giving them a hard time with building new stores.

  14. - M - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:53 pm:

    If he reads the newspaper, he would have known the legalization of Marijuana was coming sooner than later.
    He needs to set up rules for the city police to follow the state police rules. All of the cities/towns should not have their own set of rules for the same issues.

  15. - M - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:55 pm:

    Dollar General and Walmart have to many stores now. We need new blood, not the same ole, same old discount stores.

  16. - Kentucky Bluegrass x Featherbed Bent x Northern California Sinsemilla - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:58 pm:

    He will do whatever Zerkle decides to do just like he does with just about everything else.

  17. - Farm Boy - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:59 pm:

    If Springfield doesn’t go for the revenue, the odds are good that Jerome, Laketown, Southernview or Grandview will jump at it.

  18. - Glengarry - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 2:59 pm:

    Langfelder won’t go for it. The city council however is a different issue.

  19. - Nick Name - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 3:01 pm:

    ==He will allow it, because right on the edges of Springfield are two townships (Grandview and Jerome) that will also allow it. Grandview already has the areas only medical marijuana dispensary===

    Grandview and Jerome aren’t townships, they’re villages. They aren’t on the edges of Springfield, they’re within Springfield — incorporated villages within the city limits of Springfield.

    I don’t know whether Grandview has a medical marijuana dispensary, but Springfield’s medical marijuana dispensary is downtown, at 7th and E. Adams streets.

  20. - Nick Name - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 3:03 pm:

    Mayor Langfelder will allow it. The much-needed tax revenue will be too much to pass up. If he doesn’t allow it, Springfield is surrounded by other towns — Rochester, Riverton, Sherman, Chatham, etc. — that will happily take up the slack.

  21. - Pundent - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 3:03 pm:

    I don’t know how active of if there are large numbers of anti-pot zealots in Springfield. Assuming that approval is roughly the same as the rest of the state (60%-65%) I say that he will. Since usage will be legal, and the sale will be highly regulated, it will be difficult for large municipalities to say no to the revenue and economic benefits.

  22. - Keith - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 3:04 pm:

    I certainly hope the mayor reconsiders; after all, my first ever trip to a Head Shop was to PennyLane right there in town. There are ways to make cannabis commerce classy, and not trashy.

  23. - LBJ - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 3:06 pm:

    MAMA raises a very good point.

    Why leave the black market in place when you can get rid of it? Why no alleviate some of the crime and get some extra revenue

    Let’s take it off of the streets.

  24. - Mama - Thursday, Jun 6, 19 @ 3:27 pm:

    All Police, County Sheriffs and State Troopers in Illinois need to follow the same playbook of enforcement rules for all criminal issues, not just the legalization of Marijuana. You cannot have something legal in one city/village and not their neighboring city/village.

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