Discussion in West Springfield about prohibiting marijuana sales

Mayor says town council will ultimately decide whether to allow pot shops to operate

West Springfield Mayor William Reichelt is seen here in a WWLP file image from May of 2017.

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The West Springfield Town Council has discussed potentially drafting legislation to ban recreational pot shops from operating in the community.

22News looked into the issue after a viewer emailed us, concerned that Mayor William Reichelt wants recreational marijuana shops to open, despite the fact that the town voted against the legalization of recreational marijuana last November.

Reichelt denied the accusation, and told 22News he believes in the legislative process, and that the council will ultimately decide whether recreational marijuana sales will take place in West Springfield or not.

The viewer also said that the president of the council, George Condon, is in the process of preparing legislation to opt out of marijuana sales, something confirmed by District 4 Councilor Daniel O’Brien.

Council Vice President Brian Griffin also confirmed that they have discussed the matter, but said the issue is not on the docket for their next meeting in October.

Reichelt told 22News that if an opt-out amendment is drafted, the Council would need six votes to pass it. Fewer than six votes means that Reichelt could veto it, but the mayor would not say whether or not he would do so.

“While that is kind of the route we can take, we need to understand that we’re the crossroads of New England, and just because we opt out, doesn’t mean the five cities around us will opt out. If we do opt out, and that’s up to the council, we’re still going to get all of the bad, if there is bad,” Reichelt said.

There is currently a moratorium on marijuana sales in West Springfield until January of  2019. West Springfield voted against legalizing recreational pot last November.