As we all know, marihuana is legal in Michigan, for both medical and recreational use, by a vote of the people. The demand for marihuana has exploded. Grow facilities and dispensaries have become commonplace.

Now the decision has come to the people of Imlay City and perhaps with it a change in the complexion of our downtown business district. After all, we have lived the ever-present dialogue concerning the evils of marihuana for decades. For some it won’t be easy to forget the recreational use of what was once called a “gateway drug.”

Although researchers differ in their stances on whether marihuana is considered a “gateway drug,” it has every ability to be one and opens the door for those who use marihuana to transition into heavier substances.

We are not arguing the law here. It is legal.

Currently in Michigan there are about 1,000 facilities dispensing either medical or recreational marihuana, some less than a 15 minute drive from Imlay City.

We ask ourselves, if the proposal passes is it a good investment for Imlay City. What could we expect the cost to be for our small community if a facility opens here? The proposal requirement with passage is the city create a Department of Medical Marihuana which would certainly come at a cost.

Big money issues are at play here. Marihuana will impact our community. The price of an ounce of marihuana is about a third of what it was less than a year ago. The more growers you have, the more dispensaries you have, the overall price of the product will decrease—simple economics of a competitive market. What happens to such a business in downtown Imlay City when costs overpower revenues due to low prices? Some municipality leaders and police officials feel these businesses may have a short lifespan, while larger, big money outlets will prosper and make it harder for smaller facilities to compete, also simple economics.

We feel marihuana dispensaries would be wrong for our community. It is legal, but is it a right fit for downtown Imlay City?

It is our position to vote ‘No’ on this proposal. We don’t see the benefits, only the harm.