Normal’s Fritzen warns against recreational marijuana use

Jeff Fritzen
Normal Town Councilman Jeff Fritzen said it’s a “huge fallacy” to believe state government would be able to control societal impacts of legalizing marijuana for recreational use. (Photo courtesy normal.org)

By Howard Packowitz

NORMAL – The Normal Town Council’s senior member is entering the fray whether marijuana for recreational use will become legal in Illinois.

Councilman Jeff Fritzen said he’s probably hoping against hope the legislature rejects the idea even though taxes placed on marijuana sales could help state government reduce its massive debt.

Fritzen’s comments follow Bloomington State Senator Jason Barickman’s announcement late last year that he’s willing to support legalized marijuana in return for having a say how the state will use marijuana revenues.

Fritzen said people are kidding themselves if they think the state can keep marijuana out of the hands of people younger than 21, which is four or five years before their brains are fully developed.

“The legalization of marijuana, even though they’re going to propose an age on it, the age is 21. Well, we’re still four or five years away from full development of the brain, and there are impacts of this,” Fritzen said.

“This is a revenue issue for the State of Illinois, and it hadn’t ought to be that we would be willing to risk the development of our youth and our young people, our young adults. Maybe you can somehow miraculously keep it out of the hands of teenagers. I doubt it,” the councilman also said.

Fritzen said it’s a “huge fallacy” to believe that if marijuana becomes legal, dealers will no longer engage in other illegal activities like selling opioids,

Howard Packowitz can be reached at howard.packowitz@cumulus.com.

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