Little Compton town councilors are considering an amendment to current ordinances that would prohibit the use of cannabis in any public area in town. Those who violate the proposed rule could be …
Little Compton town councilors are considering an amendment to current ordinances that would prohibit the use of cannabis in any public area in town. Those who violate the proposed rule could be fined $100 for the first offense, up to $250 for a second offense, and up to $500 for a third offense.
The proposed amendment, which was discussed at the council's most recent meeting earlier this month, falls under a section of the ordinance covering topics relating to prohibited activities in public areas. Cannabis use is currently not mentioned in the section, but prohibited activities already on the books include the public consumption of alcohol and possession of open containers in public, with the exception of those places licensed for such purposes. Sleeping in public areas is also prohibited between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.
Council member Andrew Iriarte-Moore proposed the addition of a provision that, if approved, would prohibit smoking or the vaping of tobacco products in public areas. He said such a provision is justified based on the public nuisance factor and CDC rulings relating to the dangers of second-hand smoke. But some council members had little enthusiasm for his proposal.
“This is going to target a certain group of people that smoke,” said council vice president Paul Golembeske, “and I don’t think it’s fair to them.” Golembeske and other councilors also suggested the ban might pose an enforcement issue for police.
After discussion, a motion to approve Iriarte-Moore’s proposed change was defeated by a vote of 3-2.
A public hearing on proposed revisions, including those related to the ban on the use of cannabis products in public, is expected to take place at the Dec. 7 council meeting.