To the Editor:
The issue of marijuana smoke in areas where children and parents congregate was brought to the Roosevelt Island Residents Association Public Safety Committee (PSC) in the fall. We decided to start a campaign to educate people about what the current laws on marijuana use are.
The purpose of the campaign was to stop any use of marijuana in areas where children were congregating. The PSC had planned to post, in those areas, a statement which strongly opposed public smoking.
There was a delay in the production of the poster and at our last meeting, which was prior to a January 12 violent attack, the PSC voted on the final language of the poster [see RIRA Column for the wording]. We hoped to educate anyone involved that public marijuana use remains illegal and that summonses can and are issued for this. Our aim was to create totally smoke-free zones around schools, daycare centers, playgrounds, and so on.
In light of the January 12 incident and the concerns that have been raised, the PSC will draft a new statement and submit it to the RIRA Common Council for input and approval.
The violent incident of January 12 has changed the tone of the discussion and broadened it. While this attack is apparently an isolated incident, some are saying that the public use of marijuana in these areas, and on the Island in general, is more widespread than has been reported to the Public Safety Committee.
I would be in favor of looking into this thoroughly, especially using the platform of a public forum where the Public Safety Department, the RIRA PSC, and especially parents, young people, and all Island residents, can give their points of view.
RIRA PSC Chair