Detroit City Council amplifies weed restrictions, but is that best?

Not much of a surprise that Detroit City Council voted to significantly tighten restrictions on local weed dispensaries. From the Detroit Free Press:

“The Detroit City Council  passed an ordinance Thursday that could drastically curtail the city’s booming medical marijuana industry. Many of the city’s more than 150 pot shops are in violation of the new zoning law, which takes effect March 1.
“By a 6-1 vote, the council passed an ordinance that will prohibit the shops from operating within 1,000 feet of a church, school, park, liquor store, other marijuana shops and other places considered a drug-free zone under city law, such as libraries and child-care centers. The council rejected an amendment that would’ve limited the stores even further, to only the city’s industrially zoned areas.”

Given the amount of revenue that the legalization of marijuana could potentially produce for Detroit, it’s somewhat disappointing to see the continued adamant resistance to any form of acceptance whatsoever. After all, in Denver, Colorado, where marijuana has now been legalized – and not just for medicinal purposes – they are raking in so much tax  money that they literally don’t know how to manage it all. Just imagining a day when Detroit had more money than it knew what to do with is …
From  the Sept. 16, 2015 Time magazine:

Pot is a boon for tax revenues in Colorado, outpacing revenue from alcohol taxes in the fiscal year ending on June 30.
Colorado collected almost $70 million in marijuana taxes during that time, nearly double the $42 million collected from alcohol taxes.

I’m just sayin’.
But the reluctance here is also understandable. Because Detroit is most certainly not Denver. About the only thing the two cities share in common is they both start with a ‘D’. And while Denver is hardly a stranger to the demons that can be turned loose by the illegal drug trade, it has never experienced the equivalent of anything approaching a Young Boys Incorporated. And even before the legalization of marijuana, Denver was a pretty robust city barely able to keep pace with the influx of  (mostly white) Denver wannabes, whereas the decades-long devastation of Detroit has created a shell-shocked environment where it is inconceivable for many to latch onto drugs as any form of salvation.
However, and I gotta say this, it is somewhat perplexing that the casinos, which were also hyped as a form of city salvation once upon a time, are literally not much different than crack when it comes to addiction and addictive behavior. And anyone who thinks the casinos have rescued Detroit need only look over their shoulder at the bankruptcy to quiet that misguided thought. As in most other troubled cities (besides Las Vegas) where the casinos promised to build them a  yellow brick road paving the way out of financial misery, the casinos appear to have done wonderfully well for themselves, but not quite so well for Detroit.
But that’s past. So here’s the thing; while it’s understandable why some religious leaders and others feel compelled to continue the fight against legalized marijuana, it just might not be so reasonable. Not only from a financial standpoint – because despite the reported successes of the bankruptcy, this city still needs to identify some new and improved rock steady streams of income because a significant enough rise in property taxes simply is no guarantee – but because the weed smokers are here and are not going anywhere. And they are not causing any more damage to anyone than your local drunk. In fact, I would take a weed smoker over a drunk any day of the week. And these continued unsubstantiated statements that weed is a gateway drug when most research shows that it’s not is getting irritating. Weed smokers smoke weed. They don’t automatically graduate to heroin like a high schooler goes to college.
This is not a moral issue. It’s a open-our-eyes issue

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