Trustee Urging Colleagues: Back Marijuana Stores

Trustee Urging

Colleagues: Back

Marijuana Stores

Benton: Embrace New Opportunity

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Mac Benton

COOPERSTOWN – Village Trustee Mac Benton said today he’s asked his fellow trustees not to “opt out” of hosting marijuana retailers in Main Street “store fronts,” as may be enabled in legislation moving “very quickly” in the state Legislature.

“It’s going to be great for businesses, it’s going to be great for farmers, it’s going to be great for racial justice,” said Benton, who today emailed a packet of information to Village Board members.  “It’s going to be great for a lot of things.”

Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch said a few minutes ago that she has received Benton’s packet, and the initiative may be discussed in the “new business” segment of the agenda at this evening’s meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. in Village Hall.  The idea would not be voted on tonight, she said.

If and when it were to come to a vote, Benton said, he already has lined up four trustees – a majority – to support the idea, “and maybe more.”

It’s her understanding, Tillapaugh continued, that when the commercialization of marijuana bill was last considered in 2019, it only allowed counties and “major cities,” like Rochester and Syracuse, to have an opt-out option.   “It’s not like every small village can make that decision,” she said.

That year, the county Board of Representatives discussed the opt-out option, but due to the opposition of what the media called “soccer moms,” the state legislation was shelved.  However, Governor Cuomo did slip a provision into the 2019-20 budget – thus avoiding a vote – that allowed New Yorkers to grow plants for their own use.  It also decriminalized use of small amounts of pot.

If the decision is made on the county level, Benton pointed out that many of the Republican reps “represent very rural districts with a lot of family farms that would benefit greatly from a cash crop.”

Some are already growing hemp, a similar crop, he said, which can be used for clothing, “opening the door to manufacturing jobs in Otsego County and Upstate New York,” where many jobs have been lost.

In Albany, final details are being worked out for a vote before the state’s budget is due on April 1, state Senate Finance Committee Chair Liz Krueger (D) told Bloomberg News recently.

“We are working hard on a three-way agreed upon bill that could pass the Legislature before we get to the budget,” Krueger said. “I feel like we are 95 percent there. We have taken some big steps towards getting this done.”


10 thoughts on “Trustee Urging Colleagues: Back Marijuana Stores

  1. Dommy

    Just what we need. Pot Heads walking around town. And what’s this racial justice? Please explain to me. When a liberal wants to do something they pull the race card.

  2. Cigs

    More cancer and more accidents. So, good for the hospital too!
    How much have we spent to get people to stop smoking?

  3. Susan Barnard

    Can’t have a Duncan’s but let’s allow a bunch of pot heads drive around impaired.

  4. Hans Bauer

    If you look at the toll that alcohol take on the human brain, liver, and other organs, Marijuana is the way to go.

    Studies also show Marijuana offers natural pain relief and is also being studied for it’s benefits against alzheimer’s disease.

    Every human has cannabis receptors in their brain. Wonder why?

  5. Noah Johannesen

    Quite frankly you’d have to be selling drugs in order to afford rent on a storefront on main street.

  6. Johnny

    Just Wonderful In “America’s Most Perfect Village” Saw someone “OD” outside of the Ice Cream shop on Main last year. Just a wonderful place to bring a 12 year old to learn about the history of baseball. People who are running the village are soon going to flush the toilet and find Cooperstown The former mecca of baseball! BTW how many police officers does Cooperstown have?

  7. Lyn Keil

    Well, how interesting that MacGuire Benton in the article, “Trustee Urging Colleagues to Back Marijuana Stores.” seems to be totally excited about all the revenue that will be accruing. Since Colorado legalized pot it has effected crime, impaired driving, hospitalizations, ER visits, usage rates and effects on youth. (article from http://www.12 news.com -Denver) All Benton sees is dollar signs but what about the residents of our community especially the young people? Do we want to have a town of potheads, high as kites? Years ago, the average potency of pot was 2 – 3%. Now the potency is 20%. Does no one care how this affects the developing brains of young people; not to mention adult brains as well? How about being a stand up society and realizing that we should not be instilling in the residents that in order to face each day as well as life’s problems everyone should be high so that the money spent can flow into the coffers of Cooperstown and the surrounding areas. Shame on you MacGuire Benton. Where are your morals?

  8. Anonymous

    This would be great for the local economy. Seeing the rampant paranoia and misinformation in this comment section is disappointing to say the least.

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