Show Both Sides - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1871443

Show Both Sides

It is hard to understand why The Press’s editorial board consistently takes stands against the interests of the residents and business owners in Southampton Village.

Your weekly advocacy of marijuana sales would be the most recent example, with last week’s editorial [“Planning For Pot,” Editorial, January 20], in which you state that one should “applaud” the town for its support of such, as it will “benefit” us all. Who exactly will it benefit? Our youth? Our workforce? Our Main Street and Jobs Lane merchants? Although you state that the drug is “legal in New York State,” you neglect to report that it is not legal on a federal level.

Your misguided and biased editorial goes on to espouse how beautiful some marijuana shops are, calling them “sleek and modern … the farthest thing from sleazy.” It is unknown to this reader how you know that some marijuana stores are so wonderful, but maybe you could have done some research to see that there are plenty of places that sell drugs that are not quite so lovely, and that marijuana is a gateway drug.

Perhaps take a field trip to New York City and San Francisco to see what the effects of open drug use and sales have been on once vibrant neighborhoods.

We are also then told by The Press that we will benefit from the tax revenue, without stating that our tiny village already has a budget of over $31 million, with the town now spending over $113 million, meaning that we are not in any way short of funds, but in fact spending too much.

The Town of Southampton is mainly made up of small villages, with the exception of Riverhead, with its “burgeoning” dispensary (have you asked its neighbors how it is working out?). Most of our shopping areas include schools and homes in their mix, and we only have one small road that connects all of the South Fork villages.

Marijuana sales will only further erode the East End’s quality of life, and will be a huge detriment to our struggling schools, our students, our families and our businesses.

As reporters, you should at least show both sides of each story, and in the case of marijuana sales, speak to our faith leaders, our schoolteachers and principals, our parents, and others, and investigate what the negative effects of drugs have been in small towns, not just on Long Island but across the country.

Nothing good will come out of pot shops here, and it is very sad, indeed, that none of the powers that be at The Press have acknowledged in print that there can and will be many adverse effects to drugs being sold here legally, with your support and advocacy.

Walter Deane