Westborough Officials To Plan For Medical Pot Dispensaries

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Town Planner Jim Robbins and the rest of the Planning Board will discuss how to treat requests to open medical marijuana dispensaries. Photo Credit: File photo

WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — With the way cleared for medical marijuana in Massachusetts, Westborough officials want to plan how to handle requests to open dispensaries. 

The Planning Board has invited the School Committee, Board of Health and Police officials to a discussion at Tuesday's meeting that will include the possible formation of a committee to deal with the issue.

Ballot Question 3 authorizing the sale of medical marijuana received 5,367 votes in favor to 3,347 against in Westborough.

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Comments (3)

dave.reynolds.ski:

Thank you Jody Hensley for compiling a comprehensive argument for the planning board to utilize while they struggle against this poorly thought through law.

JSnr:

I urge the Westborough Planning Board, the Board of Health, the Police Department, the School Committee, Youth and Family Services, and the Board of Selectman to stay abreast of the CURRENT research on the public health risks associated with "21st Century Pot". In short, this is not Woodstock Weed we're talking about anymore. And the public health and safety consequences associated with long term or adolescent use can no longer be denied.

Please consider
http://drthurstone.com/what-latest-top-cannabis-research-tells-us/

This is a compilation of all the current top government-funded studies on cannabis as of 2012 by Bertha Madras, Ph.D., professor of psychobiology at Harvard Medical School's Department of Psychiatry.

Question 3 was funded by over $1,000,000 from Peter Lewis, a billionaire who has crusaded for marijuana legalization for over 30 years. This loosely written new law was cleverly worded to ask about "compassion" but to actually include language among its 6-pages that results in a program that is wide open for abuse -- as we have learned from other states who have passed similar laws. Ours is the LEAST RESTRICTIVE marijuana law in New England. Please consult an analysis done by the office of Senator John F. Keenan, Co-chair of the Massachusetts Legislative Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse:

http://mavotenoonquestion3.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/comparison_of_New_England_medical_marijuana_laws_MA_loosest.pdf

Colorado, which just passed a marijuana legalization law that is in violation of federal law, has the highest rates of illicit drug use per capita among the 50 states - even excluding marijuana. Neighborhoods hosting dispensaries and home grows from California to Rhode Island suffer a host adverse social consequences including increased crime, public nuisance and decreasing property values. These non-profit cash businesses are growing a product of significant value on the black and grey markets. They can be operated by anyone 21-years or older, so long as they have no felony drug offense on their record. There is no medical training or any other qualification required.

The "medical" marijuana movement has produced something quite different than "Woodstock Weed". New varieties have been hybridized with 3-10 times the potency of the pot from the 60's. There is already plenty of diverted medical marijuana from other states being sold to young people in Massachusetts. Marijuana is now the top reason kids are in substance abuse treatment programs in the Commonwealth -- more than all other illicit drugs combined. Massachusetts now has four "Recovery High Schools" for kids who, having completed substance abuse treatment, are now at high risk for relapse if they return to a regular public high school. Why is that? The opening of a fifth Recovery High School is planned for next year in Worcester. And we as taxpayers will fund these schools, as we should -- because its the right thing to do for our kids, especially as we shape the environments and policies in our homes, communities, schools and even our states, that can put kids at risk for mind and mood altering substance abuse.

“Two factors predict marijuana usage rates among young people: Availability, and how harmful youth perceive the drug to be." This, according to Dr. John Knight, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research at Children’s Hospital Boston. Marijuana is the No. 1 reason why adolescents seek substance-abuse treatment in the United States. And there are profound risks associated with regular cannabis use -- especially for the developing adolescent brain, ages 0-25 according to contemporary neuroscience.

http://mavotenoonquestion3.com/smoking-marijuana-harms-youth/

Our communities need to the be aware of the risks associated with mind & mood altering substance abuse among our youth. Spiking the supply of a drug that is currently a Schedule One Controlled Substance (defined under federal law as having no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse) in our own community is no way to do that. Education, vigilance and prevention programs for our families, schools and community is the better approach.

There already are two marijuana-based, federally legal, FDA-approved drugs on the market. We don't need raw crude marijuana -- which is still illegal under federal. See what the White House has to say at:

http://www.calmca.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Official-White-House-Response-to-Legalize-Marijuana.pdf

I trust you as our community leaders to develop positions, policies, bylaws and ordinances that keep foremost in mind the public health and safety of our citizens, and especially our young people, living here in Westborough.

Respectfully,
Jody S. Hensley, Westborough, MA