Marijuana legalization has been a hot topic in the US and Canada for several years now. As of October 17, 2018, marijuana is legal in Canada and some US states. This has led to a new industry that is growing at an exponential rate.



The Watertown City Council decided to ban retail marijuana sales after a public hearing in July. Councilman Leonard Spaziani, on the other hand, said it’s not because they don’t want marijuana in their community; it’s because they want the people to decide.

He said, “I’m voting no simply so they can obtain their petition and put it on the ballot.” “That’s how we do things in America.”

The same thing occurred in Geddes and Camillus, where Town Supervisor Mary Anne Coogan said the town council opted out so residents could decide whether or not to opt in.

“They’re the ones who live here,” Coogan said. “They’re the ones who can speak up.”

Opting out of retail marijuana sales and on-site use is intended to offer citizens the chance to put the issue to a public vote.

Prior to the public hearing in September, Minoa mayor Bill Brazill said that he intends to opt out of retail marijuana sales. He said that he doesn’t mind if there are dispensaries in Minoa, but that it is not his choice to make.

The only municipalities that may push it to a public vote without a public petition are villages like Minoa. Minoa, on the other hand, does not have a planned election in November, therefore they would have to conduct a special election or place it on the ballot in March.

Despite popular opinion, the municipality of Camillus is attempting to compel a required vote. This is accomplished via a permissive referendum, which, according to Coogan, is quite frequent in government but may be difficult for the ordinary citizen to understand.

“It’s inconvenient,” she said. “It’s a little uncomfortable. It’s thrown away if they don’t do it right.”

The town of Camillus’ lawyer, Dirk Oudemool, believes that Section 94 of New York’s Consolidated Laws for Towns permits Camillus to have a required referendum.

Residents, not town councils, should make this choice, according to both Oudemool and Coogan, who share similar views with surrounding towns.

“Right now, it’s completely in the hands of the public,” Coogan added. “And that’s where it belongs,” says the narrator.

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