New Paltz considers regulations for public marijuana use

New Paltz Village and town officials are stymied as to next steps for a proposed local law to regulating using cannabis in public. The possibility of recreational use becoming legal in the state doesn’t eliminate all of the reasons local laws are being considered, but without the text of a state law it’s not at all clear what a local rule should look like. At their February 7 joint meeting, town and village officials went around in circles, asking questions, agreeing that the answers were not immediately available and then asking similar ones yet again.

While the idea of creating a “loitering for the intention of consuming cannabis” law emerged from concerns that students were being targeted through various nuisance laws, including unlawful possession of marijuana, noise and open alcohol containers, the factor most often mentioned around the table was money. Local laws mean that the fines go to the local municipality, while with state laws it’s only a small portion and sometimes nothing at all. Supervisor Neil Bettez said that he’s “frustrated” that cannabis could be legalized in such a way that the impacts would be absorbed locally; he wondered aloud if perhaps state police could be solely responsible for enforcing the new state rules when and if they are passed.

Mayor Tim Rogers, trustee Don Kerr and deputy mayor KT Tobin also made it clear that they were interested in fines that would stay local. The loitering law is supposed to also help avoid court appearances; with a fixed fine, it’s believed the ticket could be conveniently mailed in with a guilty plea and payment. (That payment would have to be by money order or bank check, as neither personal checks nor cash are accepted at the town court; not accepting cash may be illegal, but the practice itself would have to be challenged in court to determine that for certain.) Whether or not such tickets could be mailed in was itself cast into doubt; that will have to be verified as well.


After a lengthy conversation, the matter was laid down to allowing for more information to be gathered.


There are 4 comments

  1. pot smoker

    First New York State must legalize. Today, if You posses or smoke marijuana in new paltz You are breaking the law, and subject to arrest legally and yes the new paltz police, state police and ulster county sheriff will arrest You for marijuana possession and the courts will criminally prosecute You for marijuana possession in Ulster County court.

    Get arrested with 3 ounces of Pot in Ulster County You face strong Criminal prosecution, and they will prosecute.

    Police Chief association in NY is officially against legal pot in N.Y. read your news, the cops want to arrest You for Pot, they enjoy it.

    Video tape police when possible live stream, protest strongly the police chief position on marijuana in N.Y.

    Video tape the next Police Chief Assoc meeting. Foolish of them not to be very pro legal marijuana.

  2. Denise Shelton

    The whole point of being legal is to eliminate punishment. I imagine you can prohibit smoking within so many feet of a building but that would include tobacco, too. If there are loitering laws, that should address the situation.

    1. Pot Smoker

      You can’t regulate it until officially legal. As we speak Marijuana Possession in New York is Criminal Offense., How can You create a regulation to allow something illegal?

      Students at S.U.N.Y. should Demand Their Marijuana rights within housing dorms they pay for. Lets remember students pay money to go to s.u.n.y.

      it will be many many years before New York marijuana legal with retail as other states.

      New York way way behind modern times. In New York Police and Courts arrest, jail and destroy your life for weed, how insane is that???

  3. Race

    As in the article. All about the money. At least for the town.
    It will be legal in NY. All the states surrounding NY have already or will be legalizing it. So the State is losing tax dollars. All about the money.

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