Once again, some city councilmembers are determined to prevent Hamtramck from reaping the benefits of a new tax revenue stream.
We are talking about a recent effort to ban recreational and medical marijuana sales and production.
A few weeks ago, Councilmember Saad Almasmari submitted a resolution banning the business. Fortunately, two councilmembers were absent to prevent the resolution from passing.
While we know there are some members of the community who oppose this type of activity, it is wrongheaded to go this route.
Hamtramck needs all the business it can attract. We are in no way, financially, in a position to reject legitimate — and legal — businesses from operating here.
Yes, there is concern that this type of business will attract crime, or possibly lead to kids getting their hands on marijuana.
There is also a possibility that allowing banks to operate could attract bank robberies.
And someone could purchase liquor from a party store and sell it to kids.
Or, pharmacies could deal out opiates.
The list goes on. But none of those businesses are banned. Why marijuana?
The city can benefit from local taxes and fees, as well as get exclusive rights to dip into a state pool of money from marijuana sales that only cities that allow sales can participate in.
The fears about marijuana sales are largely based on misinformation and hysteria.
Worse, if we ban it here, folks can get the product in Detroit, which as we all know, is located one step outside of Hamtramck on all sides.
Why should we allow Detroit to benefit from this revenue source while we exclude ourselves?
Sometimes making what appears to be an unpopular decision turns out – in the long run – to be the right decision.
All it takes is courage. And that’s what leadership is all about.
Nov. 1, 2019