Stir over Medical Marijuana dispensary

by beth on January 29, 2016

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Yesterday, I informed readers that selectmen will be addressing a potential Medical Marijuana dispensary in Town at their Tuesday meeting.

The news not only stirred up controversy in the comments, it spurned an online petition.

As of this posting, within 4 hours close to 130 supporters had virtually signed a petition to deny the dispensary in Southborough.

The petition claims that town officials can reject allowing a dispensary. It cites a December vote by Hopkinton selectmen that argued there was no benefit to the town.

But petition organizer, Marnie Hoolihan, didn’t just argue about having a dispensary in town. She also pointed to the planned site, 255 Turnpike Road, as unfair to Clifford Road residents:

We actually don’t understand how we are in this situation, particularly given the state of chaos that the Clifford/Deerfoot/Flagg Road are in and how destructive this chaos has been for long time loyal taxpayers and residents. We have endured so much and we have an outstanding issue regarding the development of a very large scale 40B development behind Red Roof that will dramatically impact the volume of children and the safety of our children in this residential area.

This application suggests to position a medical marijuana dispensary just outside the 500ft area of Neary Elementary and Trottier Elementary schools. By my calculation, the distance from the back of that property to the walking path to Neary Elementary is ~900ft. This is far too close to the proximity bylaw and poses significant risks to the safety of our children AND our upstanding community. Additionally, school bus stops, including stops on Deerfoot Road and Clifford fall within 500 ft. We do not see the benefit to our town of allowing a medical dispensary in this area when the proximity to our schools is so close.

To read more (or sign the petition), click here.

To read the full document submitted to the BOS by applicant, CommCan, click here.

1 Diane R January 30, 2016 at 4:15 PM

#1 I was surprised to find a petition in my email account from someone I do not know. Does anyone know how the petitioner received access to my email address (and my husband’s)?

#2 The hysteria of the petition has turned me away from signing it.

#3 In the petition, it says, the dispensary “…poses significant risks to the safety of our children AND our upstanding community.” Would someone please explain to me what is meant by “upstanding community”? What makes our community an “upstanding one”? Note the following news report from 2014:

The U.S. attorney office has confirmed that Gregory Conigliaro of Southborough and Barry Cadden of Wrentham, co-founders of the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, were among 14 people arrested Wednesday morning.

Charges to include racketeering with 25 predicate acts of second degree murder in 7 states.

Two of the 14 arrested, Doug and Carla Conigliaro, who owned a 55 percent stake in NECC, are being charged with violating an order issued after the deadly meningitis outbreak, and transferring more than $33 million worth of assets.

Arraignments will be in federal court in Boston later today.

There is much I love about Southborough — the small size, knowing lots of folks, the good schools, the location, etc.

If interested, please view this TedTalk regarding medical marijuana by Hugh Hempel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3N8QMeIsX2c
(The Hempels are acquaintances of ours.)

2 Al Hamilton February 1, 2016 at 3:34 PM

I think it is worth noting that the State and Southborough voted overwhelmingly to support medical marijuana. The vote in Southborough was 3577 to 2101 (over 60%) in favor.

3 Im in favor February 1, 2016 at 7:29 PM

Hallelujah, Al! Spot on….

4 Im in favor February 1, 2016 at 7:27 PM

Diane R:

Incredible point! Best post yet on the topic. By far…

This petition does not pose significant risks to children, its fact it can help children (let alone adults!). A great video, thank you for sharing.

5 Wendy February 2, 2016 at 1:06 PM

I couldn’t disagree more with Diane R. It’s so difficult to get people involved in Southborough’s government and it’s many important issues. Southborough is at a cross roads on many fronts and most residents don’t even notice. I applaud the people who have the guts and energy to stand up and try to help, whether I agree with them or not. This is the second Southborough-only petition I’ve received in my in box and I wouldn’t mind seeing more.

I wonder how many people who are weighing in on this topic actually attended the town meetings where the dispensary by-law was discussed and voted on. I was, and there probably wasn’t a quorum of residents remaining at that point in the meeting.

Hysteria?? I certainly wouldn’t call it that.

6 resident February 1, 2016 at 12:56 PM

What happens when these things go haywire is the people in “charge” get your email from school class lists you may have been on, SOS lists you may have been on, sometimes Kindergroup or Rec lists and then address books from personal friends. Once you hand out your email in this town, it seems to be public record. I was gettin more emails from people I don’t know so I finally changed my email address. I don’t think any of these groups should be sharing emails.

7 Matthew February 1, 2016 at 12:59 PM

I too would like to know how the petitioner got my email address. Did anyone get the email who is NOT signed up in the online school directory or the hard copy managed by SOS?
It would be nice to rule that source out if possible as I know I did not provide my contact info to be used in such a way.

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