A few years ago Ald. Silverstein blocked the owner of Green Gate Chicago, a medical marijuana dispensary, from opening his business in the 50th Ward. Despite widespread community support, and the promise of jobs for neighborhood residents, Silverstein, who initially could not explain her opposition to the project, finally alleged the business would be too close to where children play in Warren Park. In fact, at the Zoning Board hearing, a child testified that he was afraid that medical marijuana users would force him to become a dope addict. That carefully rehearsed testimony–and Silverstein’s opposition–ended the opportunity to bring Green Gate and its jobs to the 50th Ward, and to replace a taxi parking lot with the beautifully landscaped and fully-secured dispensary.
Green Gate subsequently opened in Rogers Park over the objections of neighbors who worried it would increase crime in the area and lower property values.
Green Gate is now a thriving business whose clients have not attempted to force dope on children. The facility and its environs are as free of crime as they were before the dispensary opened. The jobs and taxes that might have benefited the 50th Ward now benefit the 49th.
As you know, the United States is experiencing an opioid abuse crisis. Illinois law has recently been amended to permit the use of medical marijuana to treat conditions formerly treated by opioids.
On Saturday, Dec. 8, Green Gate is sponsoring an informational meeting on the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program and the Opioid Alternative Cannabis Program. The 90-minute session begins at 10:30 a.m. at Charmers Cafe, 1500 West Jarvis.
In his announcement of this important meeting, 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore notes that the use of medical marijuana requires a prescription from a physician and registration with the Illinois Department of Public Health . Among the debilitating conditions that qualify for the use of medical marijuana are cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, muscular dystrophy, Crohn’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. Qualifying patients can be registered for the medical marijuana programs at the meeting.
Green Gate is located at 7305 North Rogers.