Despite New York State legalizing adult use of marijuana, Middletown Mayor Joe DeStefano has proposed to implement local law #1, which will allow the city to opt-out of allowing cannabis dispensaries and cafés. 

In the city council meeting on June 1, DeStefano made very clear his stance for opting out. He’s concerned that people would be smoking cannabis in public areas. The best solution is to provide more choices not fewer. It’s senseless to believes that city residents won’t simply go to the next town. Opting out does not resolve any his concerns. 

Additionally, the mayor quickly glossed over the fact that the City of Middletown will not be collecting hundreds of thousands in tax revenue generated from cannabis sales. For these reasons, I strongly recommend the city council vote no to local law #1 and not opt-out. It will show that they respect the community and personal liberty.

This letter was sent and published by the Time Herald Record on June 15, 2021.