Pittsford Opens Door For Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

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In Pittsford Wednesday night, town officials voted against prohibiting medical marijuana dispensaries. The vote comes as many towns continue to grapple with the contentious issue.

For weeks, Select Board Chairman Hank Pelkey has been conducting what he calls an informal survey around town, and he reports that the overwhelming majority of Pittsford residents support dispensaries.

"I think it’s the right decision for Pittsford because it shows that the people in town are compassionate and that they care about the well being of their fellow citizens, and the vast majority of people that I’ve talked to feel that way," says Pelkey.

While a medical marijuana dispensary may carry a certain stigma in today’s culture, Pelkey says, the medication would benefit those suffering from chronic illness.

Still, last night’s vote in Pittsford was a close one, split 3-2, reflecting how divisive this issue has been in local communities across Vermont.

Some Pittsford residents had raised concerns that the rural town may not be the best location for a medical marijuana dispensary.

Eight miles south in Rutland, city officials have approved a ban on dispensaries, citing security and public safety concerns. A similar motion passed in Fair Haven.

The state has already licensed dispensaries in Burlington and Waterbury.

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