LETTER: A citizen’s questions for the city leaders of Niles — marijuana sales

Published 8:13 am Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The following questions were submitted by Niles resident Jeanne Watson.
• Isn’t the City of Niles breaking Federal Laws by allowing the growing and sale of medical and recreational marijuana?
• Isn’t it true that a marijuana business is not allowed to have bank accounts or credit cards because banks are federally regulated and these businesses are in violation of Federal Drug Laws?
• Where do these businesses keep their cash?
• Do the growers and dispensaries pay taxes? Do they contribute to social security, federal unemployment, state unemployment, and property taxes? How are these businesses audited without banking records? If they pay, do they pay these things…..in cash?
• Why shouldn’t federal regulations apply to the production and sale of marijuana? The production of pharmaceuticals, alcohol and cigarettes are regulated for safety. By establishing federal oversight of the industry, the revenue from marijuana would help the nation and all 50 states.
• Within this past month in Michigan, a large batch of contaminated marijuana has been recalled. What happens if people are hurt, especially people using medical marijuana? Who will be held responsible for such accidents? The state, the city, or the grower without a bank account?
• How is the City of Niles (exact revenue) benefiting from marijuana establishments? If there is no financial benefit, why is the City Council approving these businesses?
• Is it true that marijuana growers bought the old Simplicity Pattern Building, and have subsequently abandoned it? Isn’t the building quickly deteriorating? If the owners of the building won’t pay for demolition, will the city pay for it? What if that happens with proposed derelict property on Main Street?
• Does the uptick in crime and shootings in Niles coincide with the growth of the of the marijuana industry here? What are the statistics?
• Doesn’t it make sense to support federalizing the marijuana industry? Such a bill has passed through the US House of Representatives and is awaiting approval of the Senate.

Jeanne Watson