Big Rapids Voters to Decide Whether or Not to Ban Recreational Marijuana

Next month, Big Rapids voters will decide whether or not to ban recreational marijuana businesses.

The Big Rapids City Manager says businesses have already expressed interest, some applying for both recreational and medical sales.

“It’s been something that has drawn a lot of conversations, generated a lot of conversations in Big Rapids. A lot of people care about it,” said Mark Gifford, city manager for Big Rapids.

Gifford wants to be sure voters understand the specific language on the ballot.

“If you vote yes, you’re voting to prohibit, no to allow, which can be a little confusing to folks and I understand that,” explained Gifford.

He says no matter what voters decide, the city will act accordingly.

“It’s been I think a little bit surprising to me the amount of interest we’ve had from places who want to open up a business here,” said Gifford. “A couple places have applied for recreational permits and the question then is what if it doesn’t pass in terms of the ballot.”

While the city manager says many support allowing recreational marijuana, some voters are skeptical.

“It could be good in one way and bad in another way,” said Kathryn McCullough, a Big Rapids resident. “I guess it would be good for some people but I think for this community it may cause some problems.”

McCullough has lived in Big Rapids for 15 years.

She says while it’s a conservative area, she really doesn’t know how the vote will go.

However she knows she will be voting yes to ban it.

“I don’t think I would be comfortable with it because it may bring in unsavory people hanging around the area and the businesses and just maybe causing other problems,” said McCullough.