by Rick Winterson
In many ways, this article is a follow-up to the 3 articles in South Boston Online on marijuana by Brianne Fitzgerald, Nurse Practitioner (NP) and the Founder of Recoverymattersma.org. Ms. Fitzgerald is a highly qualified individual on this issue. We encourage you to read carefully all of the articles, which you will find at the end of this Editorial. In our opinion, Ms. Fitzgerald’s articles made two (very) important points: First, her articles were written for parents, teens (i.e., soon to become young adults), and adults of all ages. Marijuana use – especially recreational – is a family and a “grown-up” issue. Second, marijuana use – even if it’s only for medical purposes – must be openly and publicly discussed, long before the Commonwealth or the City allows marijuana facilities (of any kind) to open their doors. In Ms. Fitzgerald’s words, this dialogue has been “sorely missing in our country today”. We wanted to make sure you knew that marijuana is coming to town. During 2018, two nearby facilities had been given the go-ahead to proceed. One is a medical marijuana dispensary at 50 Clapp Street; the other is a marijuana cultivation and processing facility proposed for 60 Newmarket Square. These two locations would bracket the west entrance to South Bay Mall; both locations are less than a 15-minute walk from Andrew Square. Each of these locations is a few steps from Mass Ave., and are near Clifford Playground.
Here are a few of the points that, in our opinion, need to be publicly discussed:
– City Councilor-at-Large Michael Flaherty put in a zoning amendment a while back, which forbids marijuana facilities from locating less than a half-mile from each other. Do these two proposals conform?
– Would the Clapp Street facility ever be allowed to offer recreational marijuana? Or not?
– What about the long-range plans for 60 Newmarket? How large? Whom will it service? And so on?
– How can we, as laypeople, learn more about the long-term effects of marijuana use? We’ve heard that it damages young (under 25) male brains, for example.
– And most important of all, what are the remedies, if we decide after discussing marijuana that we don’t want it to come to our neighborhood in any way at all?
We will close this article by reminding you that marijuana is still a Federal felony. It’s true that 32 states have voted it in (30 of them for recreational use as well). And it is legal all over Canada. Right now, the Feds don’t enforce marijuana laws, partly because President Obama once informed the Drug Enforcement Agency, “We have bigger fish to fry.” But who is to say that won’t change? Washington, D.C., is in such a turmoil now that anything could happen, including “re-enforcement” banning marijuana again. Let us hear your thoughts, ideas, and opinions on the issue of marijuana. Below are the 3 articles written by Brianne Fitzgerald, NP – Recoverymattersma.org.