WEST ROGERS PARK — If Ald. Debra Silverstein has her way, the proposed medical pot clinic in West Rogers Park won't ever open its doors.
The 50th Ward alderman said in her weekly newsletter to constituents she "unequivocally" opposes the plans. She also encouraged people to attend an upcoming Zoning Board of Appeals meeting and voice their opposition.
Silverstein couldn't be reached for comment Friday afternoon. In her newsletter, she did not provide any specific reasons for her opposition to the plan to open the clinic at 6501 N. Western Ave., a former car dealership adjacent to Warren Park.
But on Saturday she released another statement clarifying her position. She said she supports the use of marijuana for medical reasons, but does not support the clinic opening next to Warren Park "where hundreds of children play."
Bob Kingsley, of 420 Capital Management, is behind the proposal to open the clinic — called 420 Windy City — and was granted a coveted state license in February.
"I think she's completely uneducated on the benefits of medical marijuana — and that's what she's against [it]," Kingsley said Friday in a phone interview. "If she or any of her children had any of these diseases [treatable by marijuana] she would be a billion percent behind this."
He said he intends to invest $400,000 improving the building. He also said he would hire people from the neighborhood as employees, especially veterans and the disabled.
Kingsley said he had reached out to Silverstein to meet but she hadn't responded.
He also noted that Silverstein's husband, state Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago), had voted for the bill in the Illinois Legislature that legalized medical marijuana.
"She could also lean over in bed and ask Ira why he voted for the bill," Kingsley said.
The Zoning Board of Appeals will meet 9 a.m. on May 28 to hear Kingsley's proposal and other proposals for dispensaries throughout the city.
"I hope you will all join me at the meeting and send a clear message to the Zoning Board of Appeals that we oppose a medical marijuana dispensary in the 50th Ward," Silverstein said.
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