Marijuana Ban Being Mulled For Town Controlled Areas In Vernon –

VERNON, CT — The Vernon Town Council is mulling revisions to existing local ordinances that would ban the use of marijuana in municipally controlled public areas.

Public hearings have been scheduled for Aug. 17 to review the revisions. Recreational marijuana was recently approved by the state legislature.

The first hearing is scheduled for 7:35 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Town Hall. It will review and take comment on on an ordinance titled, “Possession and Consumption of Alcoholic Liquor and Cannabis Prohibited in Town-Owned or Town-Leased Property; Smoking and Vaping Prohibited in Town-Owned or Town-Leased Property.”

Alcohol and smoking are already prohibited on school grounds, in parks and in all public areas in Vernon. The ordinance would link marijuana and vaping to that ban.

Language in the revision says, “The Town Council finds that the unregulated consumption of alcoholic liquors and cannabis on town-owned or town-leased property has caused a serious impediment to the town.”

Vaping is termed “a health risk” in the new language.

The second hearing will begin at the conclusion of the first hearing. It concerns an ordinance titled “Possession of Alcoholic Liquor and Cannabis in Public Areas, Highways and Parking Areas.”

It likens marijuana to that of an open container of alcohol in those areas.

“This is a public health issue,” Mayor Daniel Champagne said. “We already ban alcohol and smoking in our parks, at schools and other town properties. It is sensible to expand this public health policy to cannabis. Our residents have the right to expect a healthy, substance-free environment in our parks and town facilities.”

The council will hear comments from residents during the public hearings. The text of each proposed ordinance can be read here.

Fine could total $100 per offense.

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