MURPHYSBORO, Ill (WSIL) — Voters in Murphysboro have approved an advisory measure showing support for the sale of recreational cannabis within the city leading to city leaders saying they will revisit the measure in the coming year.
“I think the obvious next step is to have that debate at the council level and see if the advisory question changes anybody’s mind,” explains Will Stephens, Murphysboro mayor just two days after voters indicated, the approve.
Stephens broke a tie with his “No” vote the last time council members addressed the sale of Recreational Cannabis, he says that left the measure in question, so the council wanted to hear from residents directly. Tuesday’s election resulted in more than 60-percent of voters in favor of the measure.
“This vote, I think will factor into what decision I would make should it come down to a tie vote again,” says Stephens, but that vote is not likely to happen until after municipal elections in the Spring as some members retire, and new members are voted in. “That could have as much as an impact on this as anything.”
News 3 spoke with several residents of Murphysboro outside Kroger Thursday afternoon. Within an hour, only three of roughly 15 people said they voted, and only one of those said they thought they voted in favor of the measure, only to discover she voted to oppose it.
“And the question was, ‘Shall the City prohibit,’ and so if you were voting “yes,” you were voting to prohibit; if you were voting “no,” you were voting to allow,” says the Mayor, adding that the wording in this way is due to the council’s ability to only “prohibit” the sale within city limits.
According to the Jackson County Clerk, the population within Murphysboro city limits is just under 4,500 people with just under 3,000 requesting a ballot. The total votes for “yes” was 1,101 and for “no” 1,832.
Murphysboro resident Mary Schmitto says she understand the financial incentive, but she’s against the measure for her town.
“Do other things to make money, try to get some stores open,” says Schmitto, adding that she was surprised the measure passed. “But I don’t think it’s good because there’s enough kids and all–that’s already on drugs, so why entice them with others.”
The Mayor says a few groups have expressed an interest in bringing recreation cannabis sales to town, but no proposals have been made.