Is it too good to be true?


opinion

The Daily Messenger carried a story on City Council’s view on the potential sale of marijuana within Canandaigua city limits. My immediate reaction was “Great! An influx of tax revenue to the city!” The more I thought about it, I remember my dad saying, “Cin, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!”

Some initial thoughts:

1. Has City Council carefully researched how other cities are addressing this issue where sales are legal? What are the pros and cons? Answer: not yet, but City Council’s homework assignment is incomplete.

2. Of the promised 4% tax revenue, the city would receive 3% and the county receives 1%. Hmmm, the city does not get the full 4%.

3. There are two separate pieces to this dilemma:

a). Allow sales of marijuana in the city limits — seems reasonable to me, but what are the risks?

b). Allow consumption of marijuana products in the city — what exactly does this mean? Will consumers be able to smoke pot in stores, bars, the street corner, in front of City Hall, city parks, etc.? Seems like a slap in the face to those who still partake in smoking cigarettes. They cannot smoke almost anywhere. We want to promote our businesses and help them to succeed; I doubt business owners would support open consumption in their establishments.

4. I understand the city can opt out of sales and/or consumption and can change their minds, opt in any time in the future. On the other hand, if the city opts in immediately, there is no going back, they cannot change their mind and opt out.

5. No decision needs to be made until Dec. 31, 2021.

Council members — what is the rush? Licenses will not be provided for sales for a year or two. You still have seven months (Dec. 31, 2021) to opt in or opt out. Let’s not jump into a proverbial “frying pan” until we have explored all the risks.

Council members — does raking in potentially additional tax revenue outweigh the public safety considerations? Has Council read all the fine print in the law and its implications? Law enforcement will have their hands full handling cases of driving or behaving poorly under the influence of marijuana. Has Council considered the resource costs? So much for additional tax revenue.

Council members — voters elected you to do the right thing for our city. Respectfully, I ask City Council members to please do your research and think this through thoroughly. Is this the right thing for our city? Let’s find out more, then decide.

Residents of the city of Canandaigua — these are just a few questions that enter my mind. Please reach out to your Council representatives, and ask them to take the time and do their homework. Look at other communities. I would be very interested in learning the pros and cons of cities and towns where marijuana sales are legal.

Cindy Wade is a former member of Canandaigua City Council.

Cindy Patterson Wade.



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