The question of whether to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use is being carefully considered by the New York Legislature right now. Although the matter was not included in the 2019 State Budget, it is possible legislation will be introduced before the current session ends later this spring.
If New York state lawmakers decide to legalize recreational marijuana, our local municipalities – including Chemung County – are going to have very important decisions to make.
Specifically, Chemung County could opt out of authorizing the cultivation, processing, distribution, and sale of adult-use marijuana through a local law, ordinance, or resolution. In the event Chemung County does not opt out, the County, the City of Elmira, towns and villages may pass their own ordinances and/or regulations governing the time, place, and manner of licensed adult-use cannabis retail dispensaries, provided that such rules do not make the dispensary’s operation unreasonably impracticable, a decision that would be made by the Executive Director of the Office of Cannabis Management.
The document embedded below was created by the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) to help share information about what is being considered in Albany. It is a very good source for learning basic information about this important topic.
In my opinion, we should immediately do two things:
We should create an inter-municipal committee comprised of at least one representative from the County, City, Towns and Villages so that we all can get a sense of what each municipality is thinking on the issue. If Chemung County does not opt out, it will be very important for the municipalities to coordinate time, place and manner restrictions in a way that makes sense. It will also be important for this group to reach out to neighboring counties to find out what they intend to do.
(To slightly digress, this is a time when it would be great to have a Council of Governments as the infrastructure we need to facilitate these discussions would already exist.)
Citizen Advisory Committee
Chemung County’s Charter gives the Legislature the power to create Citizen Advisory Committees from time to time on important topics in order to better inform lawmakers ahead of a vote. We should establish a Committee comprised of representatives from the fields of health, law enforcement, education, agriculture, business and perhaps others.
This is a very important topic that will possibly come before our community soon and, if not, will almost assuredly surface within the next few years. It’s critical to let your opinions be known as we all begin to work through this.
I don’t believe the recent legalization of cannabis in Massachusetts has shown that people tired of cannabis and moved on to harder drugs due to cannabis legalization. I just don’t believe the statistics will support that. Please keep in mind that regardless of people’s personal feelings about their use, all drugs from cannabis to heroin to crack and meth are readily available in Chemung County and legalization would begin to separate cannabis, the least harmful of the aforementioned substances,Loading...
from the criminal element and allow law enforcement to focus on the hard drugs that have truly damaged our community and our loved ones. It’s is time go forward as the other states have done and allow the adult use of recreational cannabis for those at least 21 years of age. It is actually less harmful than alcohol is to our community, alcohol being a factor in a significant number of domestic abuse and violent crimes in our community.
Foresight Land Development LLC
Information from the Colorado Dept. of Transportation regarding cannabis use and driving.Loading...
Whether people support the issue or not, the ideas you presented Christina are imperative to a broad community discussion, thanks for starting the process. I encourage the county legislature to begin the discussion and facilitate implementing the community meetings necessary.Loading...
If I am understanding everything I have seen outlined on this potential legislation and the ‘opt out’ choice, there is no option for any county (or city, town or village) to prohibit adult possession and use of recreational marijuana – only the ability “opt out of authorizing the cultivation, processing, distribution, and sale”.Loading...
With that in mind, disallowing the “cultivation, processing, distribution, and sale” would not do anything to restrict adults from legally possessing and using marijuana in a county that opted out….It would be legally purchased in neighboring counties that did not opt out. Those neighboring counties would at least be collecting whatever revenue they receive from “cultivation, processing, distribution, and sale”, while the “opt out” county still faces all the same potential negative effects of possession and use.
So I don’t see that there would to be any up-side to opting out.
Great point regarding the wording of what it means to “opt-out.”Loading...
Excellent point Kate.Loading...
The Tobbacco Awarness Program (TAP) is pretty successful in eliminating the use of tobbaco. Now we are going to legalize recreational marijuana, which woild negatively affect the impact the TWA program has made. Unfortunately many folks do not have enough self control to avoid the use of drugs, even though they full well know the consequences. In my humble opinion folks will either tire over the use of weed & thus expand to a higher high, such as using more higher pleasure inducing drugs. The most most likely will be taking it with alochol & instead of remaing home or inside, will get behind the wheel. Thus, making them more dangerous than a DWI. I have no objection to the use of medical weed, as I definately do not want to see anyone suffer. If I was to vote on the issue I most definately would vote NO.Loading...