Cazenovia to pull out of retail marijuana sales, mayor says
CAZENOVIA – The village was scheduled to pull out of retail marijuana at Thursday night’s village board meeting, making it one of the first in the area.
âAll of the expert testimony we received at our public hearing last month was very categorical and advised us to step aside, using objective data to back it up,â Cazenovia Mayor Kurt Wheeler said. âAnd personally? Personally, I have not received any citizen asking us to register.
The citizens of Cazenovia were notified of the public hearing, but only one citizen attended and spoke out in favor of the withdrawal.
Wheeler said he invited experts to provide advice to the village council, including representatives from the Madison County Prosecutor’s Office, the Cazenovia Police Chief, a representative from the Cazenovia Central School District and a person of Madison County BRIDGES.
âThey offered expert testimony, citing Colorado’s experience, the science of prevention, the likely impact on schools, difficulties enforcing DUI laws, and more,â Wheeler said.
âAnd personally, after listening to their testimonies? Until New York gets its hands on these issues, I think it would be irresponsible to increase the availability of high potency cannabis products in our community, âadded the Mayor of Cazenovia.
New York State has given local municipalities the choice of accepting or refusing recreational sales. They cannot refuse the legalizing aspects of the law – they can only refuse to allow retail sales in their jurisdiction.
Wheeler explained that if no action is taken, Cazenovia will automatically join the program according to New York state law. However, as Cazenovia seeks to step down, the decision can still be overturned at a later date.
Wheeler said if people disagree, a petition can be passed to force a referendum.
âBut given that someone hasn’t contacted me about this and you need 20% of all voters on the petition, that seems unlikely,â he said.
âBut if in a year none of our neighboring communities have had a problem, they get all kinds of tax revenue and their citizens love it, we can sign up anytime. But this is the only time, this calendar year, that the communities can withdraw, âadded the mayor.
âFor me, it’s not a difficult decision,â continued Wheeler. “Given the very limited amount of income and significant public health and safety concerns, stepping back and waiting to see how it goes in other places is prudent action.”