Dwayne Cassidy was sworn in on July 28 as the newest member of Plymouth Village Council. He filled the seat vacated by the resignation of Jason Trine.
A tie vote on a piece of legislation was broken with the yes vote of Plymouth Mayor Cassaundra Fryman. Passage will not remove fines and costs for minor misdemeanor marijuana violations in the Plymouth village ordinances.
Before council voted on the third and final reading on the ordinance, Fryman said she wanted to read a statement.
“This ordinance removes the monetary fine for marijuana misdemeanors,” she said. “It is important to note that there is no conflict with state law in doing so.
“By changing this law locally, it discourages its enforcement,” Fryman said. “It is my intent to stand in favor of this change. It came on behalf of many in our community that qualify for a medical card but are unable to afford it.
“There are many others who have ailments that are not covered,” she added, “even under this card. These people live in pain because if they choose to take control of their own bodily autonomy, the associated court costs, fines and potential jail time would be devastating to them and their families.
“The choice between pain and fear must be removed,” Fryman pointed out. “We are a community that straddles two counties that have both taken a hard line stance against this measure.
“It is my belief that we are on the threshold of statewide decriminalization,” she said. “It’s important to be at the forefront of this in order to be ready to take advantage of opportunities this may present to our village.
“I want Plymouth to be seen as receptive to change,” she added. “Moving in a direction of economic and cultural modernization and most importantly, restoring bodily autonomy to our community. The right to self-medicate with a natural substance is one that should not ever have been taken away in the first place.
“If this ordinance fails,” Fryman stated, “my team is ready and will have the signatures to have this on the ballot in November so that the community can vote on it.”