New York officials prepare to resist possible recreational legalization


At the beginning of the week, a number of officials from small towns in Westchester County, told the press about the preparation of local municipal bills, designed to limit the distribution and production of legal cannabis in their jurisdiction. Similar projects are now being considered in other parts of the state, the authorities of which seriously fear the possibility of an imminent recreational legalization.

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The fact is that after the governor’s elections in November, state policymakers have actively switched to the issue of legalizing and regulating the recreational cannabis market. In particular, the successfully reelected on the legalization platform, the governor of the Democrats, Andrew Como, has already included the costs of creating a possible market regulation system in the new state budget of New York, expecting that the workers of the system will be ready to appear before the public by early next year.

Unfortunately, the sharp shift in state political elite to support legalization has led to a reaction from local, more conservative politicians and officials who have already begun fanatically to work on measures to protect against reform. The towns of Yorktown, Pleasantville, and New Castle, have already banned the distribution of legal cannabis in their jurisdiction, while there are still dozens of similar towns in the queue for the adoption of such laws.

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However, it is quite possible that the measures taken by small towns to restrict the market will be in vain in the face of the actions of the governor intending to include in the draft law on legalization provisions that will prohibit districts without large settlements from taking municipal bans on the production and distribution of legal cannabis. There is a possibility that such bans will be able to act in practice only in the districts of New York City, or in several districts of the neighboring region of the Hudson River Valley.

However, the city hall of Pleasantville, a village with a population of no more than 7,000 people, has already passed laws against the future market, one of which prohibits the production of recreational cannabis in the settlement, while the other strictly limits the distribution of legal cannabis within a certain radius to educational and public institutions. The authorities of the neighboring village, Marmonek, represented by its former mayor, Norman Rosenblum, are going to soon adopt similar restrictions as a measure of protection of public order in the event of full legalization.

“I perfectly understand the need to create infrastructure, such as plantations and shops, to supply the needs of dozens of people in our state who need cannabis for medical reasons. However, we wish to limit the possibility of distribution and production of recreational marijuana in our jurisdiction, since many villagers are seriously afraid of the negative impact of such a reform and are ready to vote for the relevant laws.”

– Mr. Rosenblyum said in an interview.

In turn, the town hall of Yorktown, led by the mayor, Jan Gilbert, is already gathering a team of lawyers, preparing to defend their right to a complete ban on legal cannabis. “We want to adopt the current law, which, if not completely prohibits the production and sale of recreational cannabis in the territory of our city, then at least limits the activities of this kind of business,” Gilbert notes.

The situation is similar in Westchester County, where the authorities, in the person of the local police chief, are opposed to the possibility of regional legalization, because of the danger it poses to the public order. “Given the available data from the legalized regions, we believe that legalization will lead to a noticeable passion for street crime and traffic accidents,” said Paul Oliva, a representative of the Local Police Association and the head of the police in Mount Olive, at a press conference on Friday. “In addition, legalization carries a significant risk that cannabis will be at times more accessible to children and young people. For this reason, we should be concerned about the restriction of hemp business and its location until regional reform has yet been adopted. ”

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