It’s just a resolution.
And, as Rock Island mayor Mike Thoms readily points out, the purpose of this resolution is to let legislators, federal officials and the public know “we support something of this sort happening.”
But the resolution on Rock Island City Council agenda for Monday's meeting that seeks direction on both regulation and taxing of marijuana will get people’s attention — even if it follows 12 other paragraphs that are essentially reasons for the resolution.
The resolution that could be passed at Monday’s meeting? It reads like this:
BE IT RESOLVED: That we the members of the Rock Island City Council assembled this twenty-first day of May 2018, do hearby urge Governor Bruce Rauner and the Illinois General Assembly, as well as President Donald J. Trump and the United States Congress, to enact comprehensive legislation for the regulation and taxation of recreational marijuana as well as the production of industrial hemp.
Thoms won’t be signing the resolution, nor will he veto it. He’s neutral, he said, and wants to study the entire issue more.
In addition, he points out, there would be a lot more work at the state and local level to be done before it would ever become law.
“The State could legalize it in a lot of different ways that you may not agree with,” Thoms said. “And you may agree with. It’s also hard for me to push for something like that when you don’t know the devil in the detail. I will need more detail before I can sign off.”
Yes, the city and state could use the tax revenue, and it could mean fewer people are sent to jail or prison, saving additional money, the mayor said. But what about a car accident in which someone might be driving under the influence of the drug? “It’s not as easy with marijuana,” Thoms said.
“They need to refine and figure out how they are going to deal with those kinds of things and with dosages. Understanding those laws is what I want to understand before I can support anything.”