NORTH HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Not all towns in New York are on board with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s push to legalize marijuana.
North Hempstead has become the first in Nassau County to ban sales of recreational marijuana, should it become legal in the state. This, as Como just made legalizing pot one of the top items on his agenda in the new year.
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If town officials won’t be able to stop people from smoking it, the town board believes banning the sale of recreational marijuana may at least curb its use in North Hempstead. Residents who spoke with CBS2 were split.
“You’re walking around, you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re dizzy,” Great Neck resident Trudy Garcia said. “I don’t think it’s right.”
“Legalizing recreational marijuana… it seems to work in California,” another person said.
The board last week voted unanimously to amend its zoning code, so that “no building, structure, or premises” in North Hempstead may be used for “the sale, distribution or offer for consumption of marijuana or marijuana products in a retail setting.”
“If stores aren’t allowed to sell it, they’re still going to get it elsewhere,” Great Neck resident Franklin Opoku said.
In his state of the state address on Tuesday, Cuomo said legalizing recreational marijuana in New York is one of his top priorities for the coming year.
“It generates approximately 300 million dollars in tax revenue and creates good union jobs that we need,” the governor said.
Some worry North Hempstead’s precautionary law may do more harm than good.
“I think that’s the whole purpose, we want them to pay taxes,” one woman said. “If they’re gonna legalize it, at least have the stores and sell it and then charge tax for it.”
Last year the town board approved two other laws restricting where medical marijuana dispensaries could open, and prohibiting medical dispensaries from selling recreational marijuana.