Selectmen to Ask For Delay in Medical Marijuana Law
With a 3-2 vote, the Wrentham Board of Selectmen will petition State Senator Richard Ross to support a delay in the implication of the state's laws concerning medical marijuana.
While the voters of Massachusetts gave their approve for medial marijuana with the passing of Question 3 during November's election, the Wrentham Board of Selectmen will be asking for a little more time to prepare for the legal use and distribution of the drug.
While the law is suppose to go into effect 45 days after being approved, some towns believe they need more time to draft zoning laws for where medical marijuana can be sold.
The discussion came up after the board received a letter from the Walpole Board of Selectmen, asking the Wrentham selectmen to petition State Senator Richard Ross in support of a delay in the implication of the law. The Walpole selectmen recently did the same with their senator, James Timilty
The vote to send a letter to Senator Ross was approved 3-2 with Selectmen Stephen Langley and Gail Pratt voting against the motion.
A delay would allow the town more time to potentially put together a zoning proposal that could be voted on at June's town meeting. Currently Wrentham does not have any zoning regulations for selling medical marijuana. Comparing it to the recently approved adult entertainment zone, Selectman Chairman Joe Botaish said he would like to see the town take a similar approach with medical marijuana.
“There is an important use for medial marijuana. I think it needs to be something that can be offered to the people, it’s just we don’t want to see it popping up everywhere,” Botaish said. “I would liked to see it at town meeting and if town meeting turns it down they turn it down.”
Some of the issues that Botaish brought up included the risk of crime that could occur due to the use of vending machines to distribute marijuana. The machine would allow a person to use their fingerprint to purchase the marijuana but without a person watching the machine, a mugging could be a matter of simply waiting for someone to give the machine their fingerprint.
While Botaish supported a delay, Langley felt supporting a delay would go against the will of the voters.
“We are overriding their (the voters’) vote if we postpone it in my opinion,” Langley said.“
With the motion passed, the board will have to see if Ross would support a delay and if the Planning Board will take the steps to create a zoning proposal for the distribution of medical marijuana.