Villages Blaze Trail For Pot Regulation


The village board of Floral Park adopted a local law amending Chapter §99-18 of the village’s municipal code at its most recent board meeting, restricting marijuana retail stores and medical marijuana dispensaries within the village’s B3 District in the chance that marijuana becomes legalized in New York State under Governor Andrew Cuomo.

On hand to give facts about the dangers or marijuana was Lieutenant William Doherty from the Floral Park Police Department.

“Marijuana I do believe is going be legalized,” said Doherty. “I don’t think it’s an if, I think it’s a when. It has been legal medicinally in New York State since 2016 and is legal for 14 discreet medical conditions such as Lou Gehrig’s disease, chronic pain and certain cancers.”

Floral Park Police Lieutenant William Doherty gave a presentation about the serious effects of marijuana. (Photo by Anthony Murray)

According to the World Health Organization and other renowned organizations, marijuana has been proven to be addictive and harmful.

“Colorado and Washington State were the first ones to blaze this trail into legality of marijuana,” explained Doherty. “Some of the things they encountered since it became legal in Colorado was a 62 percent increase

in traffic fatalities within the first year it was legalized. Drug driving arrests doubled that year as well.”

During the meeting, Floral Park mayor Dominick Longobardi said that if the village board could ban the sale of recreational marijuana, they would, but their hands are tied.

“Based on what the provisions of the New York State law say, we cannot ban it because of our population numbers because the ban can only work for a population of 100,000 or more,” said Longobardi. “Also if you’re a county or a township. We are not any that. We here are doing our best to control when and if and where someone wants to open this type facility.”

The board is controlling the sale of recreational marijuana to the B3 district, which is a very small area just south of Jericho Turnpike near Stella’s Restaurant that is three blocks long.

“This is our hope that this never gets into the hands of any of our children,” said Longobardi.

“As a life-long educator including being a former superintendent of schools, I find it reprehensible that we’re in this position here tonight,” said trustee Lynn Pombonyo. “In our school district and in New York State, ironically, it’s required that grades K through 12 that we have strong and comprehensive substance abuse prevention education programs that must be taught in our schools…”

The same night, the Village of New Hyde Park Board of Trustees also amended a section of the village’s Municipal Code 195-13, which regulated, but not prohibited the locations of medical marijuana dispensaries and retail stores that could set up shop within the village.

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