On July 23, the common council voted to opt out to allowing marijuana dispensaries and cafés within the city of Middletown. Despite several good points brought up to not opt-out in the June 15th public hearing, they were ignored.

Sadly, they were mocked by Mayor DeStefano in the next council meeting when he bluntly told the council “Who do we listen to?”. Apparently listening to the packed room of both residents and concerned citizens is a ridiculous notion to the mayor.

I understand the quality-of-life concerns with public consumption; however, opting out doesn’t address or resolve this issue. It just keeps that black market thriving, prevents access to safe usage of marijuana, denies the city much needed revenue and most importantly, ignores the voices of the people who spoke up for their liberties.