Monthly Archives: April 2015

Silverstein’s Pot Problem

You may know that a medical marijuana dispensary has been proposed for 6501 North Western Avenue, next door to Warren Park. The owner says he plans to spend about $400,000 on construction and┬álandscaping for his property, to hire workers from the 50th Ward, particularly veterans and the disabled, and to hire off-duty police officers as security guards. Judging by social media, most residents support having this business in West Ridge. The alderman can’t make up her mind.

First she said she was “unequivocally” opposed. She didn’t give any reason for her opposition. One day later, she amended her position and claimed that, while she supports making medical marijuana available to suffering patients, she didn’t want it near the park because of the “hundreds of children” from 2 to 17 years of age who use park facilities. A couple of days after that, she said that she thought the “intent” of the law that bans such clinics from proximity to schools should also apply to parks.

The alderman also claimed that many residents have contacted her in support of her original position, as well as the one after that, and said that “…it has become my feeling that this is not the proper location….” There was no official word on how many residents contacted her in support of the business.

Even she doesn’t know what her motives are. She keeps tripping over her explanations, backtracking, and confusing herself as well as everybody else.

Did she think that more conservative elements of the neighborhood would rally around her original inflexible position? Does she really believe that the children of the 50th Ward would be corrupted by the sight of patients with valid prescriptions entering a high-security building to buy legal marijuana? Based on the renderings provided by the dispensary’s owner, it’s unlikely the kids would even notice let alone guess what kind of business it is.

Alderman, you heard it here first:

West Ridge is not a drug-free zone. Illicit drugs are sold in streets and alleys all over the ward.

Maybe you should focus on that.