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In a new, and some would say “highly” drastic, effort to reduce the City’s chronic budget deficit, aldermen last week approved a top-secret campaign to grow marijuana at the Ecology Center starting next month.

The Evanston RoundTable has learned that 1-ounce packages of the weed, to be marketed under the brand name “Fuzzanston Fun!” will be sold at beach offices, community centers and the Mary Jane Morton Civic Center.

Because marijuana is illegal in Illinois, except for “medicinal purposes,” buyers will have to bring a note from their doctor saying they have one of the following maladies:

• Cold that has lasted longer than four days
• Nosebleed some time in the last 14 years
• Persistent halitosis
• Buzzing between the ears and/or proof of Republican voting record

“Paper cuts and dandruff or ear wax absolutely will not qualify” as legitimate medical conditions, said a City spokesman, who asked to remain anonymous while busily trying a test batch. “Mmmm, sweet!” he added in a choked voice.

The 1-ounce packets will go for “at least $300, or whatever street prices are at the moment plus taxes and one-time service fees of $25,” said the spokesman, between tokes.

Ecology Center personnel were seen last week installing grow lights and bringing in barrels of mud from the banks of the adjacent North Shore Channel. “That should give our weed a really pungent odor and taste,” said one staffer.

Critics of the new pot initiative point out that Evanston was the home of staunch temperance and Prohibition advocate Frances E. Willard, who was president of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union from 1879 until her death in 1898.
“Evanston was dry until 1972,” said the critic. “We should not in effect be legalizing pot just to puff up our Treasury. We don’t want to become Evanstoned.”

However Northwestern students have launched a Facebook page called “Wildcat Friends of Evanston Weed!” which, as of press time, already had 12,292 “likes.”