Medmen LLC, a California-based marijuana corporation, applied for a permit to open a medicinal marijuana dispensary on occupied by the Sleep Number bed store at 1575 Northern Blvd. in Manhasset. Their goal is to relocate an existing medical marijuana facility from New Hyde Park here— less than a 1/2-mile from Munsey Park Elementary and the St. Mary’s Schools, approximately 1/4-mile from the Manhasset Public Library, and 1-mile from the high school.
The company claims that there is inadequate street visibility in the medical complex where the dispensary is currently located and that their customers are stigmatized by having to go to a medical complex to obtain their medicinal marijuana. Though the company alleges noble intentions, they have a clear agenda for requesting this change—to legalize recreational marijuana in all states. According to the MedMen website, the company supports candidates that are pro legalization. Anticipating recreational marijuana becoming legal in early 2019 based on Cuomo’s agenda, the medicinal dispensary would be converted to a marijuana retail store.
A group of concerned residents has petitioned the Town of North Hempstead (TONH) Board to prevent this location from being used for this purpose. The Board seems receptive to preventing the relocation of the dispensary. The Board has also proposed a ban on the sale of recreational marijuana within the confines of the TONH and the vote is scheduled to be heard on January 8, 2019.
We applaud them for this effort. However, the calendar of action by the Town may be too slow to prevent attorneys for MedMen, or other marijuana dealers, from pushing through their agenda.
We are opposed to any sale of marijuana where our children frequent. This letter does not support or hinder the passage of legalization of recreational marijuana. We are simply against its sale in our community. The current location of dispensaries within hospital facilities is ideal. Just as dialysis is performed in dialysis centers, and chemotherapy is administered in infusion centers, there is no stigma to the sale of medicinal marijuana in dispensaries located in specific designated areas, away from our schools, parks, places of worship and our homes.
We believe that the most vulnerable in our community are our children. Their safety is paramount in this discussion and the proximity of the proposed relocation site to our schools is troubling. We also question why the Town of North Hempstead, which accounts for only 17% of Nassau County’s population, is the sole location being proposed to house 100% of the county’s medicinal dispensaries.
Supporters of legalization claim that marijuana is no different than alcohol. Yet how many people die annually in accidents caused by drunk drivers? Do we need more drivers on another mind altering substance in our communities within a short distance of our schools and library?
Supporters claim that smoking a joint will not lead to the use of other drugs. They are mistaken. There is overwhelming medical evidence that marijuana use in teens does lead to use of harder drugs. The developing brain is especially susceptible to dependence from marijuana use and the current day drug has more of the addictive ingredients than ever before. A large number of adolescents are currently prescribed anti-anxiety and anti-depressive medications which, when combined with marijuana, often cause psychotic episodes.
We strongly urge everyone to attend the next two TONH Board meetings to voice your opinion. We need to let our representatives know how we as a community feel.
IT IS OUR TOWN!