On Monday, an Olivet Nazarene University official spoke out against the prospect of legal marijuana being allowed within Bourbonnais village boundaries.
Others have spent the rest of the week sounding off about the school’s stance, mostly on social media.
More than 200 comments alone made their way onto the Daily Journal Facebook page. The prevailing message is this: Bourbonnais should let pot peddlers set up shop, and the university wields too much influence within the village.
A couple of thoughts:
Bourbonnais, like Bradley, Kankakee and most every other Illinois town and county, will weigh the advantages and disadvantages of accepting marijuana now that state law will permit it come Jan. 1. Dozens of factors will be considered. Each community will then accept it or reject it based on the final analysis.
Olivet’s opinion on the subject should weigh heavily on the decision in Bourbonnais. The university is that important to the prosperity of the village and the region as a whole. It’s conservative philosophy is widely known, so its opposition should come as no surprise.
Some Facebook commenters emphasized separation of church and state, and that Olivet avoids paying some public taxes because of its non-profit status.
Duly noted, but take into account the number of people the university directly employs who spend all kinds of money to bolster the local economy. Furthermore, the area is filled with teachers, nurses and other professionals who are Olivet graduates. Many came here from elsewhere and chose to stay after graduation.
Bourbonnais’ decision on permitting legal marijuana is forthcoming. Before it is made, it only makes common sense to closely consider the Olivet opinion.