Members of both the New Paltz town and village boards are urging state and federal lawmakers to act on bills which would legalize the production, distribution and use of recreational marijuana.
In a resolution unanimously approved by both boards at a joint meeting, board members listed several points in favor of legalization.
Tobin said that out of the town's nearly 800 pot possession charges over 33 months, 97 percent ended up adjourned in contemplation of dismissal, meaning the offender's record would be wiped clean after a certain time period if the offender is not cited for any other violations.
"I'm pleased with that," Tobin said of the police department's handling of minor marijuana-related violations.
She is not pleased, though, that police are still obligated under state law to cite or arrest people for minor pot possession, which takes up valuable time.
"Our hands are tied, to a certain extent," Tobin said.
The joint resolution states that "marijuana criminalization draws away time and resources from law enforcement and substance abuse interventions that would be better spent elsewhere, in particular, on the heroin and opioid epidemic."
"We need to put our time and resources toward that," she said, "and not 'illegal marijuana.' "
Board members are asking lawmakers in Albany to act on the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act. It would legalize production, distribution and usage of recreational marijuana, and set rules for how the industry is taxed. Regulation would be similar to other regulation currently in place that governs the tobacco industry.