DDA’s pot vote shows changing times

The times, they are a changin’.

So was the title of Bob Dylan’s 1964 classic. We were reminded of that song this week after reading of the Alpena Downtown Development Authority’s recommendation to the Alpena Municipal Council that the city allow “up to two medical marijuana provisioning centers downtown.”

The recommendation came on a 6-5 vote of the DDA board, and followed a survey the group conducted earlier this year from downtown business and property owners as to their thoughts on the subject. The DDA received 60 responses from the 160 surveys that were distributed.

Among respondents, 38.33% said they support having a medical marijuana store downtown. An additional 25% said they would support such a move with limitations on the businesses. Only four respondents said no, and three were indifferent to the idea.

The vote was interesting if for no other reason than that it provides a significant snapshot of a changing culture, society and economy that we find ourselves living in today.

Who would have thought 10 years ago there even would have been a discussion of legal medical marijuana centers in a downtown? But here we are, and medical marijuana centers could someday soon be thriving local businesses.

Yes sir, these are different times indeed.