Several states are pushing to legalize medical and recreational marijuana, and several of those areas have been in favor — the majority, anyway — of legalizing the once-frowned-upon substance. At this point, it seems as if politicians in New York state are divided. While it appears that marijuana could soon become legal in New York, individual counties may be able to “opt-out” of the process.

However, if cannabis is legalized in New York, it’d still be legal in the “opt-out” counties (primarily suburban communities) — and the “opt-out” would mean that said counties simply wouldn’t sell medical and/or recreational marijuana.


The following is a re-post of an article written by Henry Rosoff of PIX10 (NYC)

White Plains— It’s looking increasingly like those living in some New York suburbs will not be able to buy recreational marijuana in their communities if it becomes legal.

Leaders of three of the biggest counties just outside the city are currently weighing their options.

“We’re going to look to opt out,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.

He said, as of now, his county will not allow recreational marijuana businesses. Bellone, and other local leaders, like Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, want more time to study the impacts of legal weed.

“We’re going to evaluate and see what the implications are,” he said. “We just formed a cannabis working group that’s going to look at this from a public health and a public safety perspective, and a number of other issues. We’ll look at this, we’ll revisit the issue a little down the line, probably 12 months from now.”

The situation gets more complicated in Westchester County.

“It’s darn close to 50-50 from Westchester perspective,” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer.

Latimer said he wants the state to give his county the ability to opt out, but is unsure if he will actually ban pot businesses.

“As usual Westchester is kind of in the middle,” he said. We’re kind of upstate if you live in Brooklyn, and we’re kind of downstate if you live in Utica. So reflecting that reality for us, we will have a robust discussion in Westchester.”

Rockland County has also signaled its intention to opt out.

Currently the proposed New York legislation as written would allow any county or town bigger than 100-thousand people to pass on grass.

However, if marijuana is legalized state-wide possessing weed in counties that “opt out” would still be perfectly legal.

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