I encourage every Ayer voter to support a marijuana dispensary in our town without delay because of the many benefits.

1. People who are chronically ill will have a place to safely buy an innocuous drug for pain relief.

2. The Ayer business community will benefit from increased shoppers in the area.

3. Ayer will be an example for the state and country for safe, legal marijuana sales, a step toward decriminalization of marijuana and other drugs.

The 40 year "War on Drugs" has been a failure. Marijuana is equivalent to alcohol in its impact. To stop drug lords and stop wasting money and lives on incarceration, we must start treating drug addiction as a medical condition, not a crime.

If Ayer supports five liquor stores, it can tolerate one medical marijuana dispensary that people need a prescription to use.

If Ayer postpones this decision, perhaps Ayer can vote in a requirement that liquor store customers need a prescription to buy alcohol.

SUSAN TORDELLA-WILLIAMS

Ayer