Hartford Supervisor Haff: NYS Marijuana law ‘goes against Brown vs. the Board of Education’

By Zander Frost, Chronicle Staff Writer

Hartford Town Supervisor Dana Haff called New York State’s new cannabis law “unconstitutional” and “against Brown vs. the Board of Education.”

Mr. Haff told The Chronicle he takes issue with the part of the law that says the Cannabis Control Board will “implement a social and economic equity plan and actively promote applicants from communities disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition and promote racial, ethnic, and gender diversity when issuing licenses…by prioritizing consideration of…applicants who are from communities disproportionately impacted by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition or who qualify as a minority or women-owned business, distressed farmers or service-disabled veterans.”

Mr. Haff says the practical effect is: “It means that if you have been harmed by marijuana law in the past, you go to the head of the line. So some single skinny white guy out in the country that’s never broken any laws, hasn’t gone to prison or something like that will never have a chance in hell of getting an application.

“And I think that’s unconstitutional. That goes against Brown versus the Board of Education where everyone is supposed to be treated equally.”

The law also prohibits home marijuana growing for up to 18 months after the law takes effect. Mr. Haff takes issue with this. “Why is commercial preferential over residential?…Typical of government. They take a good idea. And then there’s zest to regulate it, screw it all up.”

“But all that being said, Hartford’s not opting out,” he said, which means a dispensary is allowed there. Mr. Haff doubts one will open in the rural town, but, he says, “there’s many other parts of this that could be in Hartford.”

“Somebody on their farmland could build a great big Amish barn or warehouse for indoor growing,” he says, adding, “Only a hippie from the 60’s would grow it outdoors.”

He says one citizen already raised the possibility to Mr. Haff. He says he replied, “‘Good luck,’ but I don’t think he has a chance in hell through the social equity office, because at one time in his career he was a cop.”

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