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The [Monday] Papers

"The race to roll out recreational marijuana in Illinois is encountering an unexpected obstacle: resistance from municipalities that want no part of the pot party," Crain's reports.

"Naperville City Council members recently voted 5-4 to reject recreational-use sales in the western suburb. Naperville joins Libertyville and Bloomingdale in pursuing opt-out rights under a little-noticed provision of legislation allowing recreational marijuana sales across the state starting Jan. 1. The law allows towns and cities to bar retailers from selling pot for recreational use within their borders.

"Other suburbs, including North Aurora, Deerfield, Bannockburn and Mokena, are scheduled to take up the issue soon. More municipal bans could slow the growth of recreational sales and the tax revenue state officials expect from marijuana."

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Someone in Naperville wasn't counting heads. That someone is the mayor:

"I was surprised by the vote," says Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico, who supports a recreational-use dispensary. "I knew there would be some opposition but not enough to sway the vote."

Oy.

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"Based on industry estimates that a recreational dispensary would sell about $20 million worth of marijuana annually, Chirico figures it would generate about $500,000 a year in tax revenue for Naperville."

Naperville's annual budget comes in at around $450 million. Nonetheless, 500 grand is nothing to sneeze at - even for Naperville.

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"[Chirico] says the matter will come back to the council for a vote once the opt-out ordinance is drafted."

Wait, that wasn't the final vote?

"Members voted 5-4 Tuesday to direct staff to prepare the documentation needed to opt out of the retail sale of adult-use cannabis under the terms of the new state law, which goes into effect Jan. 1," the Tribune Co.'s Naperville Sun reports.

"[C]ity staff will prepare the necessary documents for an official council vote to opt out of the retail sale of recreational marijuana later in the year."

Aha.

*

Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso also estimated his village could reap half a million in year from marijuana sales tax receipts. That's weird because Burr Ridge is considerably smaller than Naperville, with a population around 11,000. What's going on out there, Gary?!

Then again, Burr Ridge is "among the top wealthiest towns in Illinois," according to its Wikipedia page. Maybe Burr Ridgians only buy designer pot.

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Where some other suburbs stand, according to published reports:

IN: Willowbrook, Lombard.

OUT: Oak Brook.

SKEPTICAL: Lake Forest, Lake Bluff.

UNDECIDED: Highland Park, Highwood.

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See also: 'Ditch Weed' Still Part Of Marijuana's New Frontier In Illinois.

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Opioid Info
"Close to 2 billion prescription painkillers were distributed to Illinois between 2006 and 2012, according to new data released by the Washington Post," CBS2 Chicago reports.

"Yes, billion - enough for nearly 180 pills for every single person in the state."

Over the course of six years? If so, that's not a particularly alarming statistic.

If I'm in pain from surgery or a workplace accident or cancer, is it unreasonable to use an one opioid a day for a month over that time period? Or, more realistically, three opioids a day for a week or two?

Sure, Steve, but for every person in the state?

Well, let's say for half the state's population. Or even a third. Slice it any way you want. (And by the way, when I take ibuprofen for aches and pains, I take three at a time, because I was once taught the "managing editor's rule" when I held that post at my college paper: The third one makes all the difference.) So I'm being pretty skimpy on the intake here.

*

Now, I understand that Big Pharmas was aggressively pushing these pills, and addiction seemed to be part of their business model, and their wined-and-dined doctors were complicit, and in many cases opioids aren't anymore effective than aspirin . . . I'm just trying to make sense of the numbers. For example, speaking of aspirin, I'd be interested to know if there is a number for how much aspirin Illinoisans take every year.

*

"[The opioid] epidemic killed nearly 5,000 people across Illinois from 2006 to 2012 . . . according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many more have suffered overdoses, and more still have become addicted to opioid medications."

I get it. I'm not trying to diminish what's happened. I'm just trying to place it in context.

*

"Many of the pills - more than 700 million, to be exact - were distributed by Deerfield-based Walgreen's, the nation's second-largest distributor of opioids."

So, basically, one per Illinoisan over a period of six years.

*

Now, I know that doesn't help. What really happened is that a slice of the population was indundated by unscrupulous corporations and medical accomplices and plunged into often-fatal addiction. My point is about the use of numbers in reporting, not the crisis.

*

So, to be generous, let's say the opioid crisis killed 1,000 Illinoisans a year over the six years recorded here. I'm not sure where that would place in the causes of death in the state, because I don't know how the deaths are actually reported - by overdose or by an associated health issue. But just out of curiosity, I looked up those causes and this is what I found.

*

I will admit that when the opioid crisis first broke into the news, I thought it was overhyped. And indeed, some folks pointed out that the crisis seemed to get an outsized amount of sympathetic coverage compared to, say, the crack crisis that spread through inner cities in the '80s and even coverage of addictions in present-day because the victims, at least as presented by the media, were in the white working class.

As the reporting forged ahead, the role of a few pharmaceuticals became clearer and left no doubt that this crisis was, at least in part, spurred by greedy, monstrous people who needed to be held to account.

I just feel like I'm still trying to understand it.

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Drowning Deaths
"Drownings in Lake Michigan are 80% higher in 2019 than this date last year, an advocacy group has found," the Sun-Times reports.

"Twenty-seven people have drowned in Lake Michigan so far in 2019, compared to 15 deaths by this time in 2018, according to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project."

The (unasked and unanswered) question is: Why?

*

According to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, there were far more drownings in all the Great Lakes in 2018 than for at least the previous eight years - 117, compared to, for example, 88 in 2017.

The Great Lakes in total have seen 51 drownings so far this year, so it seems like we're on track to actually record fewer drownings than last year.

But Lake Michigan itself has had a particularly bad year, accounting for just over half of all Great Lakes' drownings.

*

I'm not really sure there's a trend here, and I'm not sure these numbers are meaningful in a news sense, as opposed to, of course, the humanitarian sense of recognizing these awful deaths. But I guess we don't actually know - or haven't reported it out.

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New on the Beachwood . . .

Send Us Back
For example, the U.S. ranks at the top of homicide rates among countries in the developed world, our very own Steve Balkin writes. So, indeed, the U.S. can use advice and examples from other countries to improve itself.

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2019 Hot Wheels™ Legends Tour: Chicago
Not just at toy, but a lifestyle.

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From the Beachwood Sports Desk . . .

South Side Super Heroes, Surveys & Service
In The White Sox Report.

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TrackNotes: A (Good) Day At The Races
When it's all about the running - and horses remind us they are better than people.

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ChicagoReddit

Old Restaurant Matchbooks from the Northwest Suburbs from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

See also: Chicago's Secret Mermaid.

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ChicagoTube

DjWINZ G - DALAGA X CHICAGO ( Melbourne Bootleg ) 128bpm

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BeachBook

Man Invents Surgery, Cures Himself Of Mysterious Ailment That Left Him Bedridden For 11 Years.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood McRibTipLine: Mind it.



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Posted on July 29, 2019


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