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Marijuana could provide tax revenue

I, like Town Manger Chris LaMay and the Bayfield Town Board, am concerned about the town's need to raise money, the public's regularly turning down a sales tax increase, and the seemingly limited options available for increasing town revenue.

I understand that, at Tuesday's public forum and town board meeting, the issue of recreational marijuana was discussed.

I would like to know how many people on the board or planning commission voted against allowing a marijuana store in town, to help bring tax revenue in. AND I'd like to know whether the board will allow the subject to be brought up again - i.e. whether it's the final decision of this current board and/or planning commission or not.

I do not use recreational marijuana; just as I do not smoke and seldom even have a half glass of wine. So I'm not speaking as an advocate of marijuana or any drugs.

What concerns me is:

1. More people get into traffic accidents, hurt others or die - in fact, many times over - from alcohol than from smoking marijuana, even in large amounts.

2. Cigarette smoking has been proven over and over again to be far more dangerous to the smoker's health AND also to the health of those, including children, who get second-hand smoke, and it results in more deaths (including in post-menopausal women who do not smoke but were exposed at length to second-hand smoke) than is marijuana use, even regular marijuana use.

3. Our town needs more money to function effectively for all of its citizens. The taxes that the Town of Bayfield would receive in the form of taxes if the town permitted marijuana to be sold here would be a good amount and put to good use.

SO, I'm forced to ask this question, and I'd like Bayfield citizens who are rigidly opposed to the legal sale of marijuana in our town:

Is the negativity toward recreational marijuana, being legally sold in our town, which would only be sold to those over age 21, based on anything other than some people's moral or religious beliefs? If so, I'd sure like to hear those arguments. Continued prejudice against recreational use of marijuana use by adults is certainly is not based on legitimate scientific research. And a number of benefits of marijuana use to relieve symptoms or pain from a variety of conditions that western medicine is not able to sufficiently help, is also well researched. In fact, more medical uses for marijuana are being found each year in reputable scientific studies done at medical schools.

Therefore, I would like this letter to be sent to the entire town board and planning commission along with my request that the issue of marijuana being sold in town be revisited after there is a public educational meeting on the subject of marijuana.

And I'd like to request that all of us adults who live in Bayfield give some serious thought to the issue of recreational use of marijuana here in Bayfield, with our town being able to get much-needed taxes from it being sold here.

Suzanne Arms