North Hempstead Locals Don’t Side with Recreational Marijuana Sales Ban
As the United States continues to progress and adopt an open mindedness to cannabis usage and distribution, both medical and recreational, more and more states across the U.S. are passing legislation to regulate adult usage. However, while certain state leaders may be taking a new, more strategic approach to cannabis regulations, local political leaders in many cases are not seeing eye to eye, which is exactly what’s happening in the Town of North Hempstead.
New York decriminalizes cannabis
In July of 2019, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo agreed to a new cannabis regulation system, downgrading the criminal penalty for the unlawful possession and use of cannabis as well as removing all criminal penalties for possessing up to two ounces of marijuana. The law took effect the week of Aug. 30, of 2019.
Town of North Hempstead bans sales of recreational cannabis
The Town of North Hempstead town council passed a ban on the sale of recreational marijuana back on Jan. 8, 2019, the first of any Nassau County to do so. Even despite the state wide decriminalization, North Hempstead has remained stoic in their stance against marijuana.
In an interview with Newsday, North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth said, ““While we certainly understand and support the need for medical marijuana dispensaries and their place in alleviating pain and discomfort in patients, we feel that this law prohibiting the sale of recreational marijuana addresses the concerns brought to us by many residents.”
Local residents response to cannabis ban
While the possibility of legal recreational sales in New York is not totally present yet being as the state has only decriminalized the law, the eventual legalization is fast approaching, and while North Hempstead politicians may think they’re protecting the sanctity of their community, local residents feel the legal sales of recreational marijuana would positively impact the community.
“I think if it was legalized everything would be fine,” said North Hempstead resident Nate McGarry. “I don’t think it would cause any issues and I think it would just benefit, even just [economically], with money if there were dispensaries.”
One of the primary reasons for Cuomo’s passing of the decriminalization was the $300 million he believes the state could bring in via tax revenue.
Mineola resident Aurora Puciato believes that the council is not being open minded enough and urges them to broaden their perspectives on the substance. “I feel like they’re stuck in their old ways and they don’t want to move forward and progress and see how it could benefit the community. Everyone’s going to have their own views, but I think by [allowing recreational sales] it’ll just be better overall, and you’ll realize it’s not just the younger generation that would buy into it and pay for its use.”
While citizens of the Town of North Hempstead seem to have adopted this open mindedness to cannabis, local leaders don’t seem to be so progressive as the ban maintains in effect.