Duluth residents voice concerns about proposed marijuana ordinance

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As marijuana becomes legal on August 1st, the state does not currently have any regulations on where you can or can’t smoke.

Duluth City Councilors Arik Forsman, Roz Randorf and Terese Tomanek proposed a bill at Monday’s city council meeting that would limit where people can smoke pot.

The ordinance would prohibit people from smoking at places like the Lakewalk and Park Point Beach. If you get caught smoking in one of these places you’ll be faced with a $300 fine as well as a petty misdemeanor.

The public had a chance to comment on the proposed bill at the city council meeting.

“I think almost everyone in Duluth is in agreement that children and adults should not be subject to secondhand cannabis smoke in our Duluth parks,” says one Duluth Resident against the ordinance.

” A $300 fine can be very debilitating to many people.”

The biggest concern is racial and economic disparity. “I’m very concerned that this will disproportion similarly affect black and brown people as it has for decades and and beyond. People of color received a great victory when marijuana was legalized. So I recommend that we just stay with what the state guidelines have been. They are working on regulating it currently and have already put in great regulations.”

There were also voices on the other hand who expressed concern about second hand smoke. “This is not a political issue but a serious health concern. I feel, we will lose tourists who will concentrate on states that have not legalized marijuana.”

The ordinance will be voted on August 14th.