North Elba ballot could include cannabis questions | News, Sports, Jobs
LAKE PLACID — Two petitions were filed Monday to pass the City of North Elba’s cannabis laws in November. Former city supervisor Jay Rand filed the petitions on behalf of nearly 20 North Elba residents who collected signatures.
Recreational marijuana was legalized statewide last March, and local governments had until December 31, 2021 to pass local laws refusing to allow dispensaries and/or on-site consumer licenses within their boundaries. what the North Elba City Council did in a special meeting. on December 17, 2021.
Local laws refusing to allow cannabis dispensaries and on-site consumer licenses were the subject of a permissive referendum. While villages could step aside and pass a resolution to put the laws on the ballot, towns had to wait for residents to file a petition to put the laws on a ballot. If enough residents have signed a petition — at least 10% of residents who voted in the last gubernatorial election — within 45 days of the vote, the laws could appear on the next general election ballot. That means North Elba needed at least 285 signatures from residents by Monday to pass its laws.
Allison McGahay, Republican Elections Commissioner with the Essex County Board of Elections, was one of 19 people circulating petitions to put the laws on the ballot. McGahay collected the petitions to be combined for submission on Monday, and that morning she counted 331 signatures for the dispensary law and 341 signatures for the on-site consumption law.
McGahay said the city needs two separate petitions for the laws since the council passed the opt-out laws separately. Some other cities that asked to vote on cannabis laws, like Jay, only needed one petition because their councils passed a law waiving dispensaries and on-site consumer licenses, according to McGahay.
City Clerk Laurie Dudley still has to validate North Elba’s petitions before the laws can appear on the ballot. City clerks must review the petition within 30 days of receiving it, according to the New York Conference of Mayors. The clerk must then deliver a certificate to their local council stating that they have reviewed the petition and whether or not they believe it meets the requirements of the law. If Dudley approves the petitions, McGahay said she would then submit a ballot proposal to the county board of elections along with a copy of the resolutions to withdraw made by city council on Dec. 17.
Rand said he carried the petitions in his pocket whenever he was in town and took them out whenever he met someone he knew. He thought people appreciated the effort to put laws to a vote.
“It’s a great way to trust people,” he said.
McGahay said she and her husband Bill went door-to-door collecting signatures all over town.
She said people first asked her if the petition was for or against cannabis laws. Once people understood that the petition was meant to pose the question to voters, McGahay said they were “Very encouraging.”
“Everyone I spoke to who signed the petition said they were signing it because they thought it was an issue that needed to be put before voters,” she said. “Just me personally, I’ve never heard anyone say, ‘I don’t want to sign your petition. “”
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