Pleasantville taking ‘wait and see’ approach to the retail sale of marijuana, on-site consumption lounges
Pleasantville is taking a "wait and see" approach as the community decides if it wants to allow the retail sale of marijuana within its borders.
A meeting was held in the village Monday night to discuss the sale of marijuana and businesses that allow for marijuana consumed on premises such as smoking lounges and cannabis cafes.
Marijuana possession in New York is legal for people over 21, but permitting retail sales and on-site consumption lounges is a local decision. A few communities across New York state are choosing to opt out and ban marijuana consumption sites, but no decision was made in Pleasantville.
"It's very complicated because kids don't know how to use it properly like adults," said Pleasantville's Lindsey Waxman.
Opting in does not require action, as all municipalities are opted in automatically. If a municipality opts out, they can opt back in – but will not be able to opt out another time.
While the opinion of the Pleasantville Village Board was unclear Monday night, that of their constituents was not.
Most are asking the board to opt out of the retail sale of weed for now until New York sheds light on how it will be regulated.
"I think it's hard to make that kind of choice, it's a personal decision, I really don't want to smell it on the street, honestly," says Elaine Murphy, of Pleasantville. "It's very complicated because kids don't know how to use it properly like adults," says Lindsay Waxman, of Pleasantville.
The village police chief also cautioned people not to compare marijuana to alcohol.
"When it comes to marijuana, we still don't have reliable tests that will measure the amount of intoxicant in a person's blood," said Pleasantville Police Department Chief Erik Grutzner.
"It's not something that should be played around with. I understand that it's legal now in New York state, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have significantly bad effects if abused," says Jay LaCapria, president of the Dad's Club of Pleasantville
Marijuana sales are expected to begin in 2022. The board says it hopes to make a decision by the end of October.