Earlier this month, Susan Miele submitted a letter on behalf of the Tuckahoe PTA President, Susan Miele, and the Tuckahoe PTA Health and Safety Committee Chairs, Katia Castelli and Michelle advocating for opting out of marijuana dispensaries in Tuckahoe.
October 19, 2021
Dear Village of Tuckahoe Board,
I am writing to you today on behalf of the Tuckahoe PTA President, Susan Miele, and the Tuckahoe PTA Health and Safety Committee Chairs, Katia Castelli and Michelle Wolf, to voice our concerns regarding marijuana dispensaries and on-site consumption locations in the Village of Tuckahoe. We strongly urge you to opt out of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) which would permit marijuana dispensaries and on-site consumption locations in our Village of Tuckahoe. It is clearly not in the best interest of our community and most importantly of our children. Our opinions are a reflection of the New York State PTA’s position on the legalization of marijuana and the increased availability of marijuana through MRTA (https://nyspta.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/3-Marijuana.final_.pdf).
As you are likely aware, the small tax revenue that the dispensaries and on-site consumption locations would generate is not worth the long-lasting negative and dangerous effects it would have on the residents of Tuckahoe. In areas of our country where the MRTA has been adopted, there has been an increase in consumption of marijuana in adults as well as in adolescents. In Colorado, toxicology reports of adolescent suicides are showing an increased use of marijuana. It is also being linked to an increase in mental health issues including schizophrenia, depression and anxiety.
It is important to note that the American Academy of Pediatrics has reaffirmed its opposition to legalizing recreational marijuana. This is in line with the CDC who warns that “For people who begin using marijuana before age 18, the risk of developing marijuana use disorder is even greater. Marijuana use directly affects the brain, specifically the parts of the brain responsible for memory, learning, attention, decision-making, coordination, emotion, and reaction time. Infants, children, and teens (who still have developing brains) are especially susceptible to the adverse effects of marijuana” (https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/data-statistics.htm). It would be irresponsible and reckless to allow greater availability of a substance that has so much potential for harm. The harm would not only be to the individual but to our community as a whole, likely causing higher rates of impaired driving, motor vehicle accidents and crime.
We are also concerned that if the Village of Tuckahoe does not opt out, and marijuana becomes more available in our community, there will be a greater need to increase law enforcement and substance abuse programs. In the end, this would cost us more financially, as well as physically and emotionally, than the small tax revenue is worth.
With all of this in mind, we sincerely urge you to opt-out of the MRTA.
Thank you so much. We appreciate your time and all that you do for our community.
Susan Miele, Tuckahoe PTA President
Amy Shaw, Tuckahoe PTA Vice President, Registered Nurse
Katia Castelli, Tuckahoe PTA Health and Safety Committee Chair
Michelle Wolf, Tuckahoe PTA Health and Safety Committee Chair