CNY Village votes to ban retail marijuana; among the first in NY

CAZENOVIA, NY – The village of Cazenovia has voted not to allow the retail sale of marijuana in its community. The unanimous vote of the village council places them among the first in New York to take a stand.

Cazenovia Mayor Kurt Wheeler said after the 4-0 vote Thursday night that the board felt the decision “is in the best interest of the community.”

On March 31, New York legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Towns and villages cannot do anything to limit a resident’s right to own or consume weed. But communities have the power to prohibit retail outlets from selling pot.

Municipalities can pass local law refusing to allow pot dispensaries within their boundaries, as Cazenovia did tonight. If a local government does nothing, the community automatically participates in it. If it passes a non-participation law, it must be approved by December 31.

If residents don’t like the village’s decision, they can force a public vote, known as a permissive referendum.

Several villages, including Fayetteville and Camille, plan to put the question on the ballot for the residents to decide. Village councils are the only ones that can choose to submit the decision to a compulsory public vote. The village should first withdraw and then integrate the public vote into this law.

Cazenovia won’t do this – the board made the decision.

Elizabeth Doran covers education, government and suburban development, breaking news and more. A tip, a comment or a story idea? Contact her anytime at 315-470-3012 or by email [email protected]

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