Kent Town Supervisor Maureen Fleming
Kent Supervisor Maureen Fleming wants to leave it up to the residents to decide whether retail marijuana dispensaries should be allowed within the community, but some Town Board members are ready to ban the decision immediately.
With Gov. Andrew Cuomo legalizing recreational marijuana earlier this year, the new law allows cities, towns, and villages the choice to opt-out of the legislation and prohibit the sale of the drug within its borders. With the board somewhat divided on the topic, Fleming last week suggested the town place the decision in a referendum vote in November.
However, while Fleming was the only member of the board in favor of moving in that direction, Councilmen Chris Ruthven and William Huestis insisted the town immediately vote to opt-out of the legislation.
“I’m ready to vote to ban the dispensaries,” Ruthven said at the June 1 Work Session. “I’m having a hard time comprehending that our state made this legal. I don’t think it was a good idea by the state and I’m not going to do anything to help support it in anyway shape or form.”
Huestis added that a dispensary is not needed in Kent when the are needs to be revitalized in so many ways. He urged the town has a responsibility to protect the children.
Councilwoman Jaime McGlasson, who at the May 18 meeting advocated for dispensaries for medicinal marijuana, shifted her opinion on allowing a dispensary in Kent after stating she found an individual smoking marijuana in a public park.
“I was concerned about the medical aspect of it but then I went home, and I looked at my three children who are growing up faster than I want them to, and children is a main concern,” she said. “Having a dispensary in our town