Betty Montgomery is confused about Pontiac’s recreational marijuana question on the upcoming Feb. 27 ballot. She’s not the only one.
The 85-year-old Pontiac resident has been active in the community for most of her life and follows ballot issues but said she’s never been seriously involved in politics.
“I don’t know whether to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ ” Montgomery said. “I have no problem with marijuana, as long as it’s done right and it’s not out there being pushed upon people just for profit. And that’s what it seems now.”
The two-page, 1,400-word ballot question summarizes nearly two dozen changes to Pontiac’s existing recreational marijuana ordinance. The original ordinance passed in April 2023 and the amendments were approved by the council in October.
Pontiac voters approved medical marijuana sales in 2018, but the previous city administration didn’t issue permits. The current administration took office in 2022 and issued conditional medical marijuana permits to five growers, two processing facilities, and 20 retailers. All must meet city standards before opening.
In the six years between voter approval and issuing conditional permits, recreational sales began in other communities and it became unprofitable for Pontiac cannabis businesses to open without a recreational permit.