Crystal Lake Marijuana Proposal Would Lessen Penalties, Redirect Fines to City

The Northwest Herald’s article about the Crystal Lake City Council’s lessening marijuana penalties and redirecting fines to city coffers from the county treasurer has raised the ire of local government observer Paul Greenlee. His letter to the Mayor and City Council follows:

Mayor Shepley and members of the City Council:

I was thinking over the weekend that it would be good for me to attend an upcoming City Council meeting.

I have been a sharp critic of the Mayor and many on the council in a number of different forums. However, I wanted to pass on kudos to you in public for some of your recent decisions.

Pottervillle from “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

I appreciate your effort to not allow Crystal Lake to transform into “Pottersville” in “It’s A Wonderful Life” by keeping things like pawn shops off the main shopping areas.

After all, there are a number of easily accessible store fronts in areas in town where these businesses could set up and be successful. (I think the cash for gold shops also should qualify for this, but I also understand things like current leases for existing businesses was just one need to be consider).

I was also extremely grateful that you have resisted the urge that has overcome lesser communities such as McHenry in your opposition to video gambling. (Yes, lesser in that such an endorsement embraces values and opens the door to practices not befitting McHenry or any other good town).

This video poker machine will be illegal in Crystal Lake when government-sanction slot machines go online in Illinois.

Between the element to which that practice appeals as well as the adverse consequence in making such gambling so easily available, this also was a wise decision.

Given some comments elsewhere, it almost qualifies as a bold statement, especially with the temptation to a community to add to its revenue.

I am glad that you have not sold some of the moral fiber of Crystal Lake for a bowl of pottage.

You also deserve sincere credit for your recent annexation of property prohibiting the erecting of a large and obnoxious billboard on the eastern edge of town. I concur with the thoughts this would have been an eyesore and also had the potential to cause safety concerns through creating distractions. Again, I express my appreciation for that as well.

So I was thinking of coming and expressing thanks to you for your good work in these areas.

I think a public acknowledgement of a good job, especially from a critic, should be made. It keeps dialogue from digressing and allows us to build on a common ground for the good of the community.

However, this morning’s [Northwest Herald] article about your consideration of decriminalization of marijuana in Crystal Lake concerns me that your good work will be set back should you accept the recommendations made in this area.

I respect what Chief Linder’s concerns and interests are in this area. He wants to ensure that he can bring maximum resources to bear on his priorities.

I also appreciate Mayor Shepley’s comments recognizing that this is not a cut and dried issue and needs discussion.

As a resident of the community, I need to add my voice to the discussion and I cannot support this change in law enforcement.

Marijuana use does not qualify as a “mistake” someone made in their past. This can be an addictive substance in the same vein as alcohol. It can lead to use of more potent drugs. It is a substance more easily passed around by under aged users, such as teenagers.

The less penalty that is involved with it, the more available it is.

The more available it is, the more likely it is to be used and even promoted in the high schools (there is a bad pun to make there, but I am trying to be serious) and even the middle schools.

It is more easily concealed than alcohol.

I am concerned that it will be easier for someone to use marijuana while operating a vehicle than alcohol.

Yet will their judgment also be impaired?

Of course it will.

It is another easy to use substance that will only have more potential to harm innocent people.

And based on the first impression of this request, it seems there will be less of a penalty for someone driving impaired by marijuana than by someone impaired by alcohol.

I also note that part of the genesis of this idea is to allow the CLPD to concentrate on more serious crimes by concentrating on less serious issues.

I think the article mentioned we would be talking about 50 fewer cases a year.

Are we going to free up our law enforcement resources by removing from them what amounts to ONE TICKET A WEEK?

I also would suggest that as decriminalization of marijuana makes it more available, you are asking for an increase in crimes and the need for police involvement.

I don’t mean people shoplifting Fritos or getting speeding tickets while going to Taco Bell.

Finally, to me it is a morals and values issue.

I went to Northern Illinois University, albeit many years ago.

I have to tell you that not everyone who attends college uses marijuana.

Not everyone who goes to college drinks.

I did not do either, nor do I do so now.

I think it is wrong to say that the use of pot is a “youthful indiscretion”.

Name for me any indiscretion that does not have future consequences.

There is a moral stigma to drugs and it is for good reason.

Easy acceptance of substances such as marijuana does not represent the community I moved into four years ago.

In response to recent violent acts and open embracement of many abhorrent practices, there is a picture circulating on Facebook.

It shows a scene from “The Andy Griffith Show”, father and son in that familiar scene as they walk together to go fishing.

In that picture is the caption “We need more Mayberry and less Jersey Shore.”

I could not agree more.

If you also agree, you will reject the suggestion to decriminalize marijuana.

Paul Greenlee

= = = = =
Crystal Lake City Council meets at 7:30 tonight, August 7th.


Crystal Lake Marijuana Proposal Would Lessen Penalties, Redirect Fines to City — 10 Comments

  1. It used to be that metropolises used their zoning powers to keep out businesses they didn’t want- such as Crystal Lake keeping out Pawnshops and Chicago keeping out a Chick-Fil-a.

    I understand now that any such attempts are unconstitutional restrictions on free speech.

    I hope someone is organizing a “buy in” at a pawn shop to show our support to these poor put-upon businessmen.

  2. Now I can afford to smoke some dubies in CL, but I can’t play the video poker machines, what a shame, I play better poker when doing some weed!

  3. Paul greenlee you are ignorant and have no understanding of cannabis sativa.

    It is a safe alternative to alcohol, and decriminalizing this substance will free up cops to fight true crime instead of arresting harmless offenders.

    Your argument is outdated and uniformed, please wake up and stop living in the 1950s.

  4. Cal says: Finally, to me it is a morals and values issue.

    Of course it is honey.

  5. Actually Paul Greenlee said it and Cal had an orgasm after he did.

    What I am tired of is lawmakers screwing up the works by trying to legislate taste and morality.

    These actions always come from “conservatives” (in quotes because conservative means liberal these days), who want the government to make law based on their own personal code.

    I have no qualms with a law against driving while impaired.

    I am very disappointed when the churchies suggest what I can and can’t do in my own home … (and the source of another topic alltogether .. is whether my home is my home under these type of laws–turns out it’s probably not).

    Paul harkens back to a simpler time … that simply never existed, a television show.

    I long for a time that those type of thinkers are ignored because their ideas are nearly worthless.

  6. Actually, I didn’t say that.

    I said it would send a bad message to those in high school.

  7. Old people need to move along now and take their idiotic morals with them. The majority of the state not only supports decriminalization of cannabis, but full-out legalization.

    I am an adult, and taking cues as to how to live my life from elderly church goers with half my intellect and education infuriates me.

    Cannabis is safe and there is absolutely nothing immoral about its use.

    I support the Crystal Lake Police; at least one agency understands that chasing away what’s left of the young population is a bad idea.

    Take your morals to church and bingo night and leave the rst of us alone.

  8. What sends a bad message to high school kids is this prehistoric out of touch 1980’s tripe.

    Arresting kids for pot sends a way worse message than just leaving people the heck alone ever could. Go away Cal, and take your old man idiocy with you.

  9. Juveniles will not be affected by this proposed ordinance, the Police Chief said.

    Except, I would argue, by the “We don’t care” message it sends them.

    The ordinance will affect adults.

  10. After reading this, I puked. Listen, the first thing wrong with this is that you ruin all credibility on your side, if you’ve never tried it then how do you know?

    And you compare marijuana to alcohol yet ignore the numbers of drinking and driving deaths each year!

    And how many cause by marijuana, 0.

    You can keep your narrow minded thoughts and early generation morals to yourself.

    See, you wind yourself up in “what’s right” and fail to see what’s needed and what’s now.

    Right now is a tough time.

    Everyone is struggling to get by in this tough economy.

    Eventually your generation will see how far your “generations morals and general idea” have put our country and MY age group in the hole.

    Time will tell and everything will eventually be the way it should be.

    Catering the people’s needs and striving for one common good.

    Our age group (88-present) is far to educated and open to today’s life to let your generations failure continue.

    Have a good day sir.

    And realize, your the machine. We shall rage against

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