Watertown to opt-out of New York State’s marijuana law

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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — The Watertown City Council is expected to move to keep marijuana dispensaries from opening up in the city now that the state has legalized recreational use of the drug.

The City Council last month called for a law to be drafted that would ban the sale and distribution of marijuana in Watertown. Council members are expected to meet Tuesday and schedule a July 19 public hearing on the issue, the Watertown Daily Times reported.

As part of the marijuana law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in March, local governments can pass stricter rules on marijuana use, prohibit retail dispensaries or cannabis lounges and impose small civil penalties.

Mayor Jeffrey Smith said he worries that crime would increase in the city if dispensaries were allowed.

Councilman Ryan Henry-Wilkinson, who opposes a ban, said the city would miss out on roughly $30,000 in tax revenue.