Question 2 is NOT about your beliefs on marijuana. Question 2 IS for understanding new regulations set May 24 and their impact on us. The law is so complex the state is still building the infrastructure.
Towns have passed landslide votes (e.g.: Littleton 243 yes, 4 no). People are taking the time to understand significant impacts, including public safety.
What's the domino effect? People from other towns and cities could come to our small town, some without a medical card, possibly creating safety concerns. Do we have enough resources to deal with it? We should not have a small-town mentality on this.
Customers coming out of the Medicine Shoppe may have diabetic pills, heart medicine or Oxycodone. There's no way to know. Dispensaries, everyone knows. Patients will walk to their car or train station via downtown sidewalks (where the public, including children, are coming out of the post office, bank, restaurants, etc.) and wait for the commuter rail.
With an ounce of weed on the black market averaging $300 and some patients carrying more than that, will they be a target? What additional vehicle, foot traffic and loitering will it add to downtown?
If a marijuana dispensary is for medical reasons, perhaps it should be near the hospital? Or maybe in an isolated area where traffic is easily visible and if something does goes wrong, the public is not in the mix.
If you take the time to read the regulations at mass.gov/ eohhs/docs/dph/regs/ 105cmr725.pdf:
* It doesn't state how few or how many can be served in a single day (you may have heard otherwise).
* It doesn't regulate hours of operation.
* It does state marijuana can be dispensed in many forms.
* It does require that no dispensary should be within a 500-foot radius of where children congregate (library?).
With a moratorium, no one (local or a large company) can open dispensaries in Ayer. If we do not have one, and if a (the) proposed site is not approved at the state level (which all applicants need to go through), we still haven't designated an area and are vulnerable to someone else opening in a less favorable location (the town designated an area for adult entertainment).
There is no zoning for this kind of business because one has never existed in Mass. So a moratorium gives us time to figure it out. It protects us from making an uninformed decision and designating a facility in an improper area in our small community. Both Planning Board and selectmen support it.
We all wish we had more time. Here we are given the opportunity to have time, why wouldn't we use it? Let's take advantage to educate ourselves and not wish we had, if we move too quickly.
Please get the word out! Each one of us counts and is important towards the necessary two-thirds majority vote to allow a temporary moratorium. Don't leave it in the hands of others.
Vote yes on Question 2 this Monday, June 24, 7 p.m.
ROBERT AND CHRISTINE LOGAN