The Village of West Salem could still go either way on allowing and prohibiting the sale of recreational cannabis.

The village’s board of trustees discussed the matter Monday night during their November regular session, opting to wait until seeing formal ordinances on each of their options before taking a vote on the matter. Some residents in attendance, as well as a member of the board did make clear that they were not in favor of selling recreational marijuana within the West Salem city limits.

“I don’t know if you want to say this publically or not,” said Village President Dan Baker, addressing the board, “but is there anyone who would be against it being sold here.

“Like not at all.”

Trustee Reid Lauderman noted that he does not support the sale of recreational cannabis in West Salem. While other members of the board did not state whether or not they were in favor of the sales issue, another public official for the village made his thoughts known.

“I’ve got friends in this room that would disagree with me, but I would be opposed to that,” said Fire Chief Harvey Fenton, who also works part-time as a deputy with the Edwards County Sheriff’s Department. “I think our state is using that three percent tax basically to blackmail you into (accepting cannabis sales).

“Three percent won’t amount to crap. You know that.”

Fenton also stated that vehicle fatalities involving marijuana use have skyrocketed in places that have already legalized recreational marijuana, such as Colorado and other states that have approved such measures.

“You should see the traffic stats in the liberal state of Colorado and other states that freely sell the recreational use of marijuana,” he said. “Their traffic fatalities and wrecks period have increased a great deal because of marijuana intoxication.”

For the rest of the story, check out last week's Navigator.