Readers Write: Town should restrict medical marijuana sales, ban recreational use

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Dear Supervisor Bosworth and Board Members,

 I am writing to share my concerns over the proposed relocation of the MedMen facility in Lake Success to 1575 Northern Blvd. in Manhasset and urge you to take action to protect our community. 

I am aware that you have received many letters from residents sharing the same concerns.  I know that you know the dangers that our community faces with alcohol and substance abuse among our youth and that the addition of a MedMen location would serve to put our community at further risk.

 Briefly, I am writing to ask you as the leaders of our Town to do two things:

 1.  In the short term, the Town of North Hempstead must maintain that medical marijuana facilities belong in spaces zoned for medical use and not in retail space. 

The location at 1575 Northern Blvd. is not an acceptable location for such use especially given its proximity to homes and schools.  Pharmacies sell many other products that allow them to be a retail store.  Filling prescriptions for medical marijuana is not retail use. 

 2.  In anticipation of the future, the Town of North Hempstead must make decisions about how to legislate and regulate the sale of recreational use marijuana.  There is really no good reason not to ban the sale of such products within the town. 

Tax revenue from the sale of recreational marijuana could be a revenue-neutral proposition given the increased education and enforcement needs it creates.  The Town of North Hempstead stepped up when it came to protecting our youth from vaping and addressed the age to purchase vape products and the locations of such stores.

California has demonstrated that towns and counties can make the tough decisions necessary to protect their youth.*  This is a very serious matter that will forever affect our communities and the Town must take a proactive stance, making our youth and their safety and well-being a priority.

 I recognize that the Town Board, the Board of Zoning and Appeals, the county and the state all have uniquely defined roles and that their jurisdictions are specific and limited in scope. 

I urge you though to all work together to ensure what is best for our community and the entire Town of North Hempstead.  We have a chance here to be leaders in making choices that protect our youth and all of our residents.  Let’s make history on this issue!

Susan Auriemma

Manhasset

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