SH should reject marijuana businesses


South Haven Proposal 2019-1 will prohibit recreational marijuana establishments in South Haven. People concerned about our community’s health and well-being should vote “yes.”

Adult personal growing and use of marijuana is legal in Michigan, but the law that made it so allows communities to restrict recreational marijuana businesses (“opting out”). Over half have opted out due to concerns about what the business would bring with it.

Colorado learned that young people are more likely to take up marijuana when adult use is decriminalized and the business is encouraged. Usage makes it harder for young people to learn, remember and process knowledge at the last opportunity before they enter the job market. This can lock them into depressing, dead-end options.

Our commercial environment also can suffer. When Oregon legalized marijuana, the market crashed due to oversupply. People who had expected huge profits instead sustained huge losses. Too many other people were already producing weed, and more were starting.

Marijuana can grow just about anywhere. Local businesses will compete with the entire state, and eventually the nation, if interstate restrictions are lifted. Eventually a few big players probably will force out the competition, just as with cars and cigarettes.

Colorado and Canada learned that the black market doesn’t go away. Buyers with limited funds will tend toward cheaper products, even if they are inferior. The underground economy undercuts legitimate sources by evading taxes and safety controls, strong-arming suppliers and competitors and smuggling from cheaper sources.

Proposal 2019-1 proponents aren’t in it to kill other people’s fun. We know from personal, family and loved ones’ experience where marijuana abuse can lead. There are serious risks, and they’re becoming more obvious as stronger products become more available. Our city should not sell out to this industry just for revenue.

Donald Bemis

South Haven