Residents upset over plans to bring marijuana businesses into Be - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Residents upset over plans to bring marijuana businesses into Benton City

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BENTON CITY, WA- Tuesday night's city council meeting wasn't held in the City Chambers like usual, it was held at their Community Center. They held it in a larger venue to allow for more residents to fit inside the meeting. Before the meeting even started, all the seats were taken and left a large crowd of residents outside the building trying to listen throughout the meeting. 

People who attended were welcomed to speak on the controversial topic of whether or not the city should welcome marijuana businesses into Benton  City. A majority of speakers at the meeting were against bringing marijuana businesses in. We visited Benton City the day after the meeting to talk with residents and the residents we talked with actually showed a lot of support for bringing in marijuana businesses. 

For those who are against marijuana businesses in Benton City, they say it will increase crime rates as well as increase the use of marijuana among kids. For a status report conducted by Drug Policy Alliance in July 2015 on marijuana legalization, click here.

When we asked residents who support marijuana businesses they said it is a much needed tax revenue for Benton City and as for protecting kids, it's like alcohol and tobacco, parents need to educate their children. According to Initiative 502, .6 percent of excise taxes on marijuana sales need to be used for research on short and long term effects to further educate both parents and children.  The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services also directs 20 thousand dollars to the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute for web based public education services. 

For more information on marijuana education you can visit the ADAI website here