Supporters rally against medical marijuana moratorium

Supporters of a medical marijuana dispensary planned for the town of Riverhead are calling on the town to say 'No' to a proposed one-year moratorium on the facility.

The town board held a public hearing Wednesday on whether to prevent any dispensary from opening within its jurisdiction for one year. Officials say they will vote on the moratorium in the coming weeks.

Donna Schwier, of Medford, has fibromyalgia. The chronic condition causes nerve pain throughout her body and, at times, can make even small tasks nearly impossible.

"I believe medical marijuana would allow me to relax my muscles and therefore relieve the pressure off the nerves," Schwier says.

She's been an advocate for medical marijuana for years, and now that it's legal, she says she hopes the proposed dispensary in Riverhead opens soon.

"I want to be out of pain," Schwier says.

But town officials are having second thoughts about the facility, which Columbia Care plans to open on Route 58 in Riverhead. 

Kelly Miloski, who is part of the Riverhead Community Awareness Program, opposes the dispensary being placed near schools.

Supporters dismiss that as a non-issue.

"If it's not medically prescribed to any children, then I don't know what difference that would make," says Linett Gordon, also of Riverhead.

Columbia Care says that while it is exploring the possibility of other locations, the Route 58 spot is its No. 1 choice.

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