A Marijuana "Joint"
by Chris O'Neill
In August 2019 the Huntington Town Board unanimously voted to ban the use, sale and distribution of recreational marijuana anywhere in the town. This was enacted after a public hearing in June 2019 held in response to the proposal by NY Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-Westchester) to legalize marijuana.
Just last week – March 31, 2021 - Gov. Cuomo signed into law a bill legalizing marijuana in New York State. The new law allows for possession of up to 3 ounces of cannabis, 24 grams of concentrate, and allows for the growth of up to 6 plants at home.
But the law also allows local counties, towns and villages to "opt-out" and ban the retail sale and distribution of marijuana in that municipality. Cuomo’s office stated that although cities, towns and villages can curtail retail dispensaries, they “cannot opt out of adult use legalization.”
Kyle Belokopitsky, the New York State Executive Director of the PTA, blasted Cuomo and the new law, saying "the law is an absolute travesty. All research shows that it will be harmful to children and make the roads less safe.”
Local NYS Assemblyman Keith Brown (R-Northport), agreed, saying that it will only “empower corporations to commercialize marijuana, and use marketing to prey upon children and those susceptible to dependency.”
Huntington Town attorney Nick Ciapetta has promised to quickly review the new law and the town’s options.