Pubdate: Sun, 20 Sep 2009
Source: News-Gazette, The (Champaign, IL)
Copyright: 2009 The News-Gazette
Author: Dan Linn


Recently, while camping at Kickapoo State Park I went into downtown
Danville and was saddened by the amount of downtown storefronts and
offices vacant. The area felt like a ghost town with hardly anybody
walking around and an eerie silence for such a pleasant weekend evening.

The first time I went to Danville was last year and the town seems to
be feeling the hard economic times more now than then. But both times
I imagined ways to bring vitality back to the community.

It may seem crazy to some, but in my opinion what could really help
out Danville is some revenue from drug tourism.

As a member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana
Laws, I believe that if Danville would legalize cannabis and other
drugs, allow a few Dutch-style coffee shops to open in downtown, the
area would likely soon be thriving with folks looking to catch a legal
buzz. The tax revenue from legal cannabis could greatly help the
struggling area and driving under the influence would still be
illegal. Hotels easily could encourage the tourists coming to Danville
to walk or rent a bicycle to keep the community safe.

The failed War on Drugs now presents an economic opportunity for
communities to cash in on since people will use drugs legal or not and
like most financial opportunities those in on it early stand to make
considerable money from the gamble. However, how much of a gamble is
it when things already seem down and out for Danville?

Dan Linn

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