North Tonawanda Common Council Discusses Marijuana

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By: Brendan McDonough

Reporter for North Tonawanda

City Attorney Luke Brown could soon be learning more about the pros and cons of legalizing marijuana after being tapped by the North Tonawanda Common Council to sit on an ad hoc advisory board designed to see whether or not it should come to the Twin Cities. 

The committee was formed by newly appointed 7th District Legislator Jesse Gooch. The goal is to see all of the benefits or having legalized marijuana in New York State as well as looking at whether or not the County should opt out. 

Inside the Common Council President Eric Zadzilka presented a resolution appointing Brown to help gain more insight about possible tax benefits if marijuana become legal in New York State.

“I think it gives us a seat at the table and I think it is a necessary step,” said Zadzilka. “I think it is something we should be aware of since legislation can pass very quickly and we want to stay ahead of this. Luke can be our eyes and ears if he is on this committee.”

With him being on the committee the hope is that he would then report back to the Common Council and the benefits and concerns of the legalization.

“It is my understanding that the Governor would like to push this through and there are many advocate groups against this,” said Zadzilka.

Also against it is Alderman-at-Large Bob Pecoraro.

“I am on the executive community for the health alliance and this legalization of marijuana goes completely all our attributes of what we believe in as a community health alliance,” said Pecoraro.” I like the idea that we have someone on the committee but I am going on record as saying that I am again the legalization of marijuana period.” 

The Common Council said the goal is to get ahead of the curve and not wait and have to react if legalization occurs.

“The Governor announced there is a $2.5 million shortfall in revenue so this might be something he wants to act on,” said Zadzilka. “If it is something that we can opt out of as a county then we want to make sure we are there to state that.”

For Brown it’s a committee he says he is looking forward to being on.

“It will be educational for me, I will say that I will go into it with an open mind and see what the pros and cons are as well as what the benefits to the City could possibly be and then report back on those findings,” said Brown.


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