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Medical Marijuana Debate In Chatham

Updated: Friday, August 15 2014, 09:50 AM CDT

CHATHAM -- Medical marijuana patients can now start their applications to get it, and business owners are applying to set up shop all around central Illinois.

Last week we told you where the city of Springfield thinks would be the best place for medical marijuana facilities to be located.

And now the debate is in Chatham, where village board members are asking for residents' input after a Chatham business owner asked the village of  Chatham for a letter of support to include with her application for a medical marijuana dispensary.

Iris-Miranda Kirschner recently lost her husband to cancer, and wishes he had access to anything that could have made his life easier.

"We were hoping the medical marijuana laws would become effective to at least give him a fighting chance. So I would welcome them here," said Kirschner. 

Some opponents we spoke with who didn't want to go on camera were worried about the security of the facilities and the types of crime they might attract.

But locals from near Chatham say they aren't worried about security.

"I'm sure they're going to set that up, both the business owners and law enforcement people so it isn't going to be much of a problem," said Chuck Tamminga, Pawnee resident.

"As long as they keep a good control on it, I'm fine with it, not a problem," said Sean Linehand, Auburn resident.

For those we spoke with it seems the benefits of the drug outweighed concerns.

"It's fine if people have cancer and other conditions that merit it and it relieves their pain and makes their lives better, I think it's fine with me," said Tamminga.

"He was in so much pain the last three or four months of his battle that we thought it would have helped ameliorate some of his suffering," said Kirschner.

And Iris has a message for all of those opposed to medical marijuana facilities that she believes will help those who need it.

"I would think they need to talk to those people who would probably benefit most from medical marijuana to then determine whether or not they should stay opposed because I think it's something that needs to be handled and addressed properly, either through government or village oversight," said Kirschner.

We reached out to the business owner, Donna Mattera, today to talk about her application, but she declined at this time.

The village board is set to discuss the medical marijuana recommendation at their August 19th meeting.

Medical Marijuana Debate In Chatham


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