Needham Selectmen: Medical Marijuana Moratorium 'Makes Sense'

Board of Selectmen voted last night on a delay of the medical marijuana question passed by Mass. voters in November.


Medical marijuana dispensaries were approved in the November vote, and the law is set to go into effect within the month--but not in Needham, yet.

A moratorium proposed in an early January meeting would allow officials to put off zoning regulations for up to a year. The Selectmen voted last night unanimously in favor of that delay until March 1, 2014. 

Said Selectmen Maurice Handel, "This is respectful of the vote that voters of Massachusetts took, and allows for adequate response from the town. It makes complete sense to do this."

The concept, officials say, is to wait for the Mass Department of Public Health regulations and guidelines about the law before starting to write comparable zoning for Needham.

"It's smart to have cooling off period, so to speak, to hear from state and hear from various bodies," added Selectman Matthew Borrelli.

The year-long moratorium would allow officials to address what they have described "as ambiguities, policy issues and questions" about how to apply the outlined law at a town government level.

Before the November vote, several Needham Health officials spoke out against the medical marijuana initiative. Gov. Patrick said he would likely vote against the ballot question. In October, Needham and Newton were considered for Locations of Medical Marijuana 'Consultation Centers', but were ultimately passed over.

Paul Hurteau January 23, 2013 at 06:34 PM
No,,, This does not make sense,,, The VOTERS voted for all this to be together and operating in 90 days,,,
Paul Hurteau January 23, 2013 at 07:29 PM
Marijuana remains the only Schedule I drug that DEA prohibits from being produced by private laboratories for scientific research. Although DEA has licensed multiple privately-funded manufacturers of all other Schedule I drugs, it permits just one facility, located at the University of Mississippi, to produce marijuana for research purposes. This facility, under contract with NIDA, holds a literal monopoly on the supply of marijuana available to scientists, including researchers seeking to conduct FDA-approved studies of the plant’s medical properties – studies that, of course, squarely conflict with NIDA’s mission to study drug abuse. The DEA, for its part, protects NIDA’s monopoly by refusing to license other qualified manufacturers. Every independent commission to examine marijuana policy has concluded that its harms have been greatly exaggerated – from the 1944 LaGuardia Report, to President Nixon’s 1972 Schaffer Commission report, to the Institute of Medicine’s congressionally-mandated 1999 report.


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