Medical Marijuana dispensary is open in town

by beth on August 2, 2018

Post image for Medical Marijuana dispensary is open in town

Above: CommCan is open for business in Southborough (images from company’s Facebook posts)

The controversial medical marijuana dispensary at 255 Turnpike Drive is open for business. CommCan opened its Southborough facility last week.

Owners originally targeted June for the opening. But public communications on progress ceased in May. The company updated Facebook followers about the July 28th opening a week prior. And last week, another post shared its hours for MMJ patients.

Marketing its goods, this week the business posted to Facebook:

MWDN/Southborough Wicked Local interviewed CommCan’s CEO. He noted that no appointments are required, but customers do need a medical marijuana identification card to enter.

From the article:

Standing outside CommCan’s medical marijuana dispensary on Rte. 9, CEO Marc Rosenfeld says the company landed the perfect spot to open its first of three shops.

Many customers used to drive to Brookline, Brockton or Quincy — or other far flung areas of the state — to pick up such medicinal products, he said.

“We filled an incredible gap here in MetroWest,” Rosenfeld said during a tour of the shop Tuesday morning. The spot on the westbound side of Rte. 9 is near Rte. 85, Interstate 495 and the Massachusetts Turnpike.

The family-run business invested millions into its cultivation facility in Medway, which produces products for its shops and sells wholesale to other companies, and the new dispensary. Shops are set to open in Millis and Mansfield.

CommCan, formally The Commonwealth Cannabis Co., is one of 36 dispensaries to open in the state with more expected in the coming years. The shop is on the first floor of 255 Turnpike Road, which used to be a home improvement showroom.

Read the full article here.

The siting of the shop stirred a major controversy in Southborough. Officials approved the deal and permitting over objections of many outspoken and petitioning residents. 

The spot was within the zone that had been approved by Town Meeting voters. But while it is more than 500 feet from a public school, many were taken aback by it being less than 1,000 feet. And some opposed having a dispensary in town at all. (Though it would have been against state law to completely zone out dispensaries.)

Although fewer in number, there were also residents who voiced support for the importance of providing access to medical marijuana for those who need it. That included the building’s landlord. At the first public meeting on the facility, William Picardi told the room that his wife had spent almost every day with a close friend dying from cancer. He said Medical Marijuana had been her friend’s only relief during her last year.

The Town’s agreement with CommCan promised $50K per year after two years, plus a 3% profit share after one year, capped at $500k per year.

{ 89 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sean Connelly August 2, 2018 at 9:51 AM

Just in time for school to start!

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2 my town sb southborough August 2, 2018 at 10:41 AM

Locating this near children and school zones for a profit. Brilliant move. Where is the moral leadership in this town?

Isn’t the Federal Law on zoning setback 1,000 feet from schools?
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/11/21/attorney-urged-crack-down-marijuana-dispensaries-near-schools-playgrounds/KW1IqH3Uu3ZsCKdsHjusKP/story.html

How did this one end up less than 1,000 feet? How did this one end up where it is located over the objections of 500 people who signed a petition?

We can all follow the money trail, because that is what it is about. Selling out our children and our residents for money.

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3 Statistics August 2, 2018 at 10:47 AM

Excellent location. Allows for commerce to come in and exit with little local impact… excellent source of revenue for the town.

Hopefully this incremental step will demonstrate to skeptics that something like a retail shop someday could be another great addition to both employment and revenue.

I am glad there are people voicing their concerns. Let’s work on them. Now that it is here we should work together and try and make it a success in such a way that the town, residents and business can all benefit.

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4 Tasha August 2, 2018 at 11:05 AM

From someone who has kids in school and sees the impact easy access to all forms of marijuana has had on these kids, setting up a Marijuana business in the heart of our town may not be the best idea. The kids think marijuana is safe, that there is no chance of addiction and that the store further supports that. There was no reason to put so close to the schools and neighborhoods.

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5 Statistics August 2, 2018 at 12:53 PM

Do you keep them away from Wegman’s? They sell alcohol out in the open… often with cartoon characters or other catchy ads.

I think the difference on opinion comes down to your understanding of the science of the actual substance. I have far more concern with the legal pharmaceutical drugs being used than I do Marijuana.

I do not use Marijuana BTW. And I also have kids in the schools.

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6 JustVenting August 6, 2018 at 10:17 PM

I love this reply! High ✋🏻…alcohol is the devils juice and should be considered a Controlled Substance or drug like people think of Medical Grade Lab tested Medical Marijuana. I’m an MMJ patient that use to take five different prescriptions to aid my MDD/Anxiety & PTSD illnesses, one pill to counteract what the others were causing. I ended up gaining 50-60 lbs on those pills but have since weaned myself off of each one thanks to the Medicinal Benefits of Cannabis.
While I can see the point of it being near a School. People shouldn’t hate/discriminate Medical Marijuana if they haven’t tried it. It’s currently helping 100’s of thousands of people in our beloved Counrty and millions over the globe. Yes, maybe you tried marijuana in the 60’s or 70’s and didn’t like it. I encourage you to take a few hours and try a nice daytime sativa of today’s plants. You will think differently! I’ve used marijuana for 25 years and the quality of the plant today is much different (high grade) rather than the cartel stuff we used to get. My father who is also a patient will be 63 in a few days and he would agree 100% with what I’m saying.
We’re not complaining about the multiple liquor stores in town or how it’s kept in our homes where most kids get alcohol for the first time. I can honestly say that I’ve gotten into more trouble or in harms way when consuming alcohol than I ever have consuming cannabis. I would prefer my kids enjoy cannabis than alcohol any day, when they are old enough obviously. Oh and I consumed alcohol way before marijuana and I was drunk the first time I tried it, and I didn’t like it.
People of Southborough, please try to be more open minded about CommCan opening in your town. They aren’t there to cause your children any harm and have strict guidelines in place to keep them from accessing it. They built from the ground up a state of the art cultivation site designed for the sole purpose of providing high quality, lab tested, chemical free and safe medicine for the patients of Massachusetts. I know the CEO and his family and they are honest hardworking Massachusetts residents. They invested their own money and hired local contractors to keep everything in Massachusetts. They are honestly “home grown” and have invested wisely in a industry that is going to continue to grown in our State./Counrty.
Embrace the change people. The millennial are getting their way, be happy, enjoy it, or at least don’t hate on it. Go educate yourself before pointing a finger or saying that’s a drug it’s bad. 0 that’s right 0 people have ever died from the use of cannabis. It’s safe, don’t be afraid!
Thanks for letting me vent that felt good! Be happy people…we mean you know harm we’re just trying to live a lifestyle that most take for granted and Medical Marijuana allows us to function like those without an illness 🤔

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7 Concerned Voter August 7, 2018 at 7:40 AM

How about those Conflict of Interest Forms filed by two ZBA members, Mr. Walker and Mr. Eagle? Were either one of them sitting on this pot shop permitting? Has anyone submitted those forms (see Town’s website under “Minutes / Disclosures”) to the State? One of the forms states that a former partner(?) is representing the owner (??) and the other appears to be an abutter(??) from his form.

Didn’t those permits allow this location near school zones and homes with children? Is anyone looking into this?

8 Concerned Voter August 3, 2018 at 8:07 AM

Very poorly located. High congestion area, often impassable; this only adds to the problem. Too close to residents homes, school age children and two school zones.

You will never be able to address the concerns of taxpayers who had this forced down their throat and against a 500 signature petition by the residents. There are many legitimate significant concerns over this bad location and the way this got through the ZBA. This should be independently reviewed and investigated, starting with the Conflict of Interest Forms filed on the Town’s website (link below).

Why is it that there are two (2) Conflict of Interest forms publicly posted on the ZBA town website? Two. One appears to be an abutter (then ZBA member, Mr. Eagle). If he sat on the matter, that may well be against state law. The other (another ZBA member, Mr. Walker) appears to be making a disclosure about a former PARTNER and good friend is representing the pot shop applicant? Not sure what this means. If this is the same pot shop, and he sat on the matter, that may be also against state law. Hopefully he did not. However, both of these should be double checked by this Town’s leadership and turned in to the state if any of it involved misconduct.

https://www.southboroughtown.com/sites/southboroughma/files/minutes/disclosures_d._eagle_j._walker.pdf

Remember the 500 petition signature citizen petition regarding marijuana? Remember how that matter ended with an “ANR?” Approval Not Required? Why didn’t the citizens’ voices matter on that petition? No one wanted this near children and school zones.

Back to the point: there are two disclosures posted on the Town’s ZBA website. One may be an abutter (?!), which by definition is a conflict of interest under the law and the same reason cited by the State that Mr. Rooney was required to recuse himself. Say what? Is Town Government turning this in to the proper authorities at the State level? What is the Town doing about this kind of matter? Enforcement? It is State Law not to have these types of conflicts. Follow up and public discussion please! Where is the moral leadership in this town?

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9 Louise Barron August 13, 2018 at 11:02 PM

KUMBAYA. $$$$$. Are you nuts. POT is a great addition, or did you mean great “addiction” for the town. “little local impact” Good lord.

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10 Tasha August 2, 2018 at 11:01 AM

It would be great to understand how this Medical Marijuana shop will deliver value when recreational marijuana selling starts. Medical marijuana licenses will no longer be needed to purchase marijuana and I would be surprised if folks would want to pay the fee for the license. This business is not allowed to sell recreational marijuana so how does it plan on staying in business?

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11 JustVenting August 6, 2018 at 10:32 PM

Tasha, you make some valid points but you should read up on the differences between medical and recreational marijuana. The strains provided for patients in some cases will not be available to recreational users.
My dad has is medical card and he got it from his doctor to ease his pain during chemo therapy. So, he didn’t pay for his prescription just the $50 registration fee to the State which most dispensaries in Massachusetts gives you as a credit on your first purchase. CommCan has a solid business plant checkout their website CommCan.com it has brief but valuable information on their products. Medical grade marijuana is and will be much different than recreational marijuana.
I do agree with the town of Southborough residents about it being close to a School, but the business is on and facing route 9. It’s not in downtown Southborough next to the liquor store with bright signs saying come in, smoke me and get high. The advertising for alcohol is much more dominant and worse for your health than marijuana.
Invest some time and read about it. The marijuana of today is a good thing for a lot of people. Those that consume it aren’t out there offering you a hit like they would an alcoholic beverage. Try it you might like it. You embrace the change, it’s happening and will continue to happen. Look at our neighbors to the North (Canada) they legalized the product as a whole. The lower 49 aren’t too far behind. 😁 Thanks for your time

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12 Mom August 7, 2018 at 9:45 AM

A little off subject for this thread but…
Very good point about the advertisement for liquor on Main St. I really hate it. I hate that it’s right there for my teens to see and I hate that it’s on Main St. I thought we were into the beautification of Main St. I don’t see how this advertisement is in line with that objective.

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13 marcel proust August 2, 2018 at 11:26 AM

Far be it from me to criticize a business for bringing “a source of revenue to the town.” Just wondering how much revenue this actually amounts to, and is it worth it?

Didn’t know a pot shop would be an economic engine of Southborough. My concerns are, When does this shop become a seller of recreational marijuana?
Is there a reliable test for marijuana-impaired drivers yet?

Peace and love, everybody.

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14 beth August 2, 2018 at 11:57 AM

It won’t and can’t. Not only is that in the agreement and permitting – but it isn’t allowed under Town law. Because Southborough residents bucked the trend by voting against recreational marijauna being legally sold, the Town was allowed to zone out Recreational Marijuana.

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15 Trixie August 2, 2018 at 8:02 PM

The hysteria is a little much. There is no way a kid is getting anywhere near the facility. You have to have all kinds of documentation to get in the door and there is security checking the documentation. The access is to and from Rt 9 and it is a store, not a lounge.

Medical marijuana eases suffering for many with conditions I’m glad I don’t have. CommCan is a Mass family run business and provides a needed service.

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16 Louise Barron August 2, 2018 at 9:32 PM

WOW! WE need fireworks to celebrate the Grand Opening of the POT SHOP. Let’s bake a cake, with pot in it.
So, you’re suffering from any number of symptoms, syndromes, disease, conditions. You have your script from the doc, to fill your long awaited answer to feeling really good. Drive over to 255 Turnpike Rd. Fill the script, leave the shop, smoke some dope while you’re driving, cause you know everyone else drives high. Except the police have nothing to gauge how high you are. Luck is on your side.
Of course no one mentioned that continuous smoking of pot can lead to emphysema.
See, pot smokers inhale deeper, hold the smoke in their lungs longer than cigarettes, and can actually be as damaging as cigarettes.
Who cares, because use of a portable oxygen tank when you can’t breath properly from the effects of emphysema is no big deal, and they have little carry bags to hold the tank, so you can shop in a market, play bridge, anything.
And gee, all the money we getting from the pot shop owners. WE’RE RICH.

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17 Barb B. August 3, 2018 at 9:32 AM

Medical marijuana is not sold by prescription. In order to enter a facility that sells Medical Marijuna, the patient must first obtain a MA Medical Marijuana Card by visiting one of the very few MA medical marijuana-licensed physicians ($200 for the visit) and bringing documentation of their qualifying medical condition from their regular specialist. If approved, the patient then needs to apply to the state for a Medical Marijuana Card ($50). This must be done *every year*, and none of the $250 cost is covered by health insurance.

Once the patient receives his/her Marijuana Card, they may visit a medical marijuana facility, where they must first enter a locked vestibule. Their identification is then checked by a guard. If their IDs are approved, the patient is allowed to enter the facility to purchase whatever product they wish. Cash is usually the only method of payment, although some facilities will accept debit cards. No credit cards.

Just wanted to clarify that individuals likely to visit a Medical Marijuana facility do not do this casually or with the simple desire to “get high”. They are seeking help with severe, intractable conditions that the traditional medical establishment Is unable mitigate successfully.

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18 Frank Crowell August 3, 2018 at 12:09 PM

I have a friend in Ashland who got his card and the brief description he gave did not sound anything close to this. I’ll ask him for more details. He does have cancer so maybe this is the reason for the difference.

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19 Kate Noke August 3, 2018 at 11:12 PM

Barb; thanks so much for your very informative post. I realize that this type of enterprise may inspire fear for many, but hopefully you’ve addressed their concerns. Individuals who suffer from chronic medical conditions deserve to be able to do what they can to improve their quality of life.

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20 Louise Barron August 16, 2018 at 9:16 PM

Barb Who cares why they get high, it’s the need to get high and DRIVE. In the pot shop, “their ID is checked by a guard’ earning $12.00 a hour, and as qualified as the TSA inspectors. That’s very impressive.

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21 Louise Barron Fan Club August 3, 2018 at 11:23 AM

Best Louise Barron post of the year. Kudos.

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22 Adam August 3, 2018 at 11:44 AM

Louise, do you crack a beer or bottle of wine in the car on the way from the several package stores in town or do you wait until you get home? Do you lecture everyone else about liver disease and alcoholism to people that like to consume alcohol? Adults have the right to make their own choices knowing the potential risks.

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23 Statistics August 6, 2018 at 7:56 AM

Why is nobody talking about these drug shops all over the place?? You can skip into any old Walgreens and grab a bottle of your sleepy pills hop onto Rt 9 and take a few ambien! Think of the kids!

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24 Louise Barron August 16, 2018 at 9:09 PM

“Statistic” who ever you are. Then why add another drug to the mix???????????? FYI, AMBIEN is prescription ONLY. Stop fighting the facts that driving under the influence of DRUGS can and will kill.

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25 Adam D August 3, 2018 at 11:43 AM

So i see all the comments up on here decrying the apparent lack of real leadership by the town government in regards to the opening of a medical marijuana facility here in town. As someone who has grown up and resided here since the nineties, i find it hypocritical that so many in town would demonize the normalization of medical marijuana, yet there are countless people in this town who abuse painkillers, drink and drive, yet next to nobody seems to care ablut those being potential risks for the sober residents in town.

If someone is letting their children in or around this facility they’re not doing a good job as a parent. It’s easier for underage teens and children to get a hold of a pack of cigarettes or a bottle of booze from the plethora of package stores in town than it is for them to get a hold of medical grade marijuana. This will bring in a lot of tax revenue for the town, maybe even enough to fix REAL problems such as the deprioritization of main street in favor of newer developments, as evidenced by the awful driveability of that section of town, or the wasted 900,000 dollar investment in the beautification of the old Burnett house while the old fayville post office is left to rot.

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26 Louise Barron August 3, 2018 at 11:54 AM

Trixie honey and Barb B are you serious? You don’t think any of the folks getting their “stuff,” can sell it to kids or kids find “edibles” on their own. I’ve heard everything now. The Patriarca’s were a family run business, so what’s your point. “Severe intractable conditions” that can lead to emphysema and other severe lung ailments. Check out the brain scan in a young persons head and you tell me they aren’t affected. I don’t care if the folks entering the pot shop have to have a cavity search. I’m worried when they leave, and drive high. Do not tell me that won’t happen. If this “stuff” was soooo benign, why the security, the cards, and not covered by insurance??

Does anyone remember State Trooper Thomas Clardy who was mowed down and killed by a pot high driver? The pothead had just filled his script at the pot dispensary in Brookline. Nothing stopped him from driving high. Now what happens to his widow and six children, six kids who grow up without their father?

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/10/24/trooper-widow-speaks-out-against-marijuana-legalization/yXV0d1VVWyjsG7XtFSrn2N/story.html

Please explain to her and the rest of us how safe it is to get pot shop marijuana and smoke pot. This perpetrator smoked pot, killed a father of six, and states that he doesn’t remember what he did. Sell your cockeyed pitch to someone else. This taxpayer isn’t buying.

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27 Statistics August 6, 2018 at 8:14 AM

You are very much entitled to an opinion… but I would caution you to be consistent. Otherwise it comes across as very chicken little.

1 in 5 Massachusetts adults reported using marijuana “recently”.

http://www.wbur.org/commonhealth/2018/06/29/lawmakers-wanted-a-study-on-recreational-marijuana-before-it-became-legal-here-are-the-results

So we are dealing with a large sample here in the state. What you have done is cherry pick isolated incidents to show that abusing a legal substance can be dangerous… just like alcohol… or firearms… or prescriptions drugs. There’s no shortage of legal things people can abuse. If you want to regulate all substances and objects with potential for misuse then that’s fine… but be intellectually honest. An honest debate would entail differentiating why medical marijuana is inherently more dangerous as a substance… this would mean using science based evidence (emphysema is a lame argument as smoking pot is hardly the norm these days) and using actual data rather than whatever few isolated incidents that get paraded out every time this debate occurs.

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28 Concerned Voter August 6, 2018 at 10:43 AM

This is not cherry picking. It’s fact. A state trooper with six children was killed by a high pot head who just visited his medical marijuana facility.

No one wants this around kids, school zones, young adults.

Check out this week’s Metro West news — the pictures for this pot shop shows gummies.

Importantly, what risks are there to clients of any pot shop re-selling their products or children or pets getting into gummies, candies, edibles ? It is already happening!

As mentioned here, did this town’s leadership ignore the Conflict of Interest Forms posted by two ZBA members? Did those members sit on this pot shop permitting process? There must be answers to these questions.

And yes, I agree with LOUISE BARRON FAN CLUB. Absolutely hilarious. Good to see taxpayers trying to keep a sense of humor. Sense of humor aside, and we are all trying to keep one, these matters need to be pursued. How about those Conflict of Interest Forms?

We need discussion of these matters at the next Board of Selectmen meeting. The public has a right to a discussion on this and answers, please.

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29 Statistics August 6, 2018 at 11:39 AM

“This is not cherry picking.”

That is the very definition of cherry picking. Choosing a single sensational incident as evidence of widespread issue. Were you thinking it meant something else?

“No one wants this around kids, school zones, young adults.”

A medical dispensary? Apparently the Southborough Police don’t mind it… they seem happy with all the provisions made based on their quotes. Majority of voters were in favor. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health even wrote regulation stating 500 feet. So despite what you may think, you are in a minority (though maybe not is Sboro from what I gather).

I don’t think anyone is saying that marijuana can’t be abused… but the level of pearl clutching going on is comical. The scientific community and population at large have already weighed in on this… personal opposition is fine but sensational stories of pot heads running wild feeding our children medical gummies are just silly.

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30 Matthew Brownell August 6, 2018 at 5:05 PM

“Statistics” – I am hoping you understand the unadulterated hilarity of your pro-stoner statements, made from complete anonymity.

I presume that if you had true conviction and integrity, you would stand- up, author your opines under your real name , and refrain from anecdotal presumptions and false attributions about your beloved Cannabis dispensary.

Frankly, I am astounded that after 500 + Southborough residents petitioned the Board of Selectmen and Zoning Board of Appeals against locating this crap
business within a stone’s throw of the Neary Elementary and Trottier Middle school, their concerns as parents, taxpayers, and voters were summarily dismissed and urinated on.

More mysterious, “Statistics”, is your sloppy and highly offensive statement that “Apparently, Southborough Police don’t mind it . . .they seem happy with all the provisions made” …. ( ?? !! )

“Statistics”, I challenge you to cite one (1 !) member of the Southborough Police who will go on record in favor of the Rt 9 marijuana dispensary. I’ll even be sportsmanlike – . . let’s open up the Pro-Stoner Challenge 2018 to neighboring Police organizations in Westborough, Northborough, and Hopkinton.

31 Concerned Voter August 6, 2018 at 5:35 PM

Sorry but completely disagree. And very much in the majority opinion of those polled in town, i.e. see the 500 person signature petition against this. And the medical / “scientific community” you cite above does not agree with you (see links below). Your minimalizing of the downside of all of this is disturbing. You must have inhaled or have your head in the pot clouds (or elsewhere) based on your “comical” and “sensational’ read of the death of a cop with six kids. This is not sensationalism. It happened. After the perpetrator who hit him had a visit to a “medical dispensary.”

Experts don’t agree with you and your own sensational minimalizing of the matter:
https://thriving.childrenshospital.org/marijuana-advice/

See the above link to read that Dr. Levy at Children’s Hospital in Boston finds:
1) Marijuana is harmful to adolescents.
2) Anyone can overdose on marijuana.
3) Marijuana is addictive.
4) Marijuana is not necessarily safer than alcohol.

To parents, another helpful link is the following link to Children’s Hospital in Boston, Dr. Lydia Shrier:

https://notes.childrenshospital.org/adolescent-cannabis-use-intervention/

“Whatever your views are on medical or recreational cannabis use for adults, however, there’s near-universal agreement that adolescents should not use cannabis,” says Lydia Shrier, MD, MPH, who directs clinic-based research in the Boston Children’s Hospital Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine.

“What’s more, cannabis marketers are tailoring products to appeal to young people, creating edibles in the form of candy, soda and other popular snacks,” Shrier says.
Candy, soda, and popular snacks.
You state “. . .pot heads running wild feeding our children medical gummies are just silly.”
Tell that to Dr. Schrier at Boston’s Children’s Hospital and the parents who are bringing their children to emergency rooms.

The public can only turn to other states to see what their experience has been. See Colorado where emergency room visits have quadrupled.
https://denverite.com/2017/05/10/study-childrens-hospital-colorado-sees-minors-using-marijuana-quadruple-legalization/
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-marijuana-kids/marijuana-related-er-visits-by-colorado-teens-on-the-rise-idUSKBN1HO38A

You might want to read the advice of Children’s Hospital’s medical experts.
You could send a check to the widow of Trooper Thomas Clardy. But for sure, please stop labeling all of this as “comical” and “silly” – that take is weird and skewed. It definitely is not “comical” or “silly.”

Let’s all follow the money trail, because that is mostly what it is about: profits over people and increasing addictions.

32 Louise Barron August 16, 2018 at 9:20 PM

Trixie and Barb, why not respond to the affects on continuing pot use on the brains of young people.Selling pot to kids near schools. Smoking pot is as injurious to the lungs as cigarettes, perhaps worse.

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33 North Sider August 30, 2018 at 8:05 AM

This facility will not be “selling pot to kids near schools”.

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34 my town sb southborough August 3, 2018 at 12:31 PM

Here are a few articles for Trixie, Barb B, and parents of school age children in Southborough:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/06/03/medical-marijuana-doctors-loses-license-practice/L5jRBrby55bFWb8p8AwB6I/story.html

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2010/10/california-medical-marijuana-pot-card/

I agree with the above comments asking how this facility came to be over the objections of residents and parents. Is someone looking into the Conflict of Interest forms posted above? The Conflict Form written by Mr. Eagle notes that he is an owner of the business across the street. The form states that “I have no doubt that I can rule fairly on the application. I cannot even see the site from my office . . .”

“Why is it that there are two (2) Conflict of Interest forms publicly posted on the ZBA town website? Two. One appears to be an abutter (then ZBA member, Mr. Eagle). If he sat on the matter, that may well be against state law. The other (another ZBA member, Mr. Walker) appears to be making a disclosure about a former PARTNER and good friend is representing the pot shop applicant? Not sure what this means. If this is the same pot shop, and he sat on the matter, that may be also against state law. Hopefully he did not. However, both of these should be double checked by this Town’s leadership and turned in to the state if any of it involved misconduct.

https://www.southboroughtown.com/sites/southboroughma/files/minutes/disclosures_d._eagle_j._walker.pdf

Remember the 500 petition signature citizen petition regarding marijuana? Remember how that matter ended with an “ANR?” Approval Not Required? Why didn’t the citizens’ voices matter on that petition? No one wanted this near children and school zones.”

I agree that someone should be looking into this and a public discussion should take place at the next Board of Selectmen meeting.

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35 Adam William Dalton August 3, 2018 at 12:38 PM

It’s easier for kids to get a hold of opiates, cigarettes or booze in this town than it would be for them to get a hold of medical marijuana from this facility. I grew up in this town and graduated from Algonquin in 2008. I saw first hand how easy it is for kids ro get a hold of these substances and become addicted. Marijuana isn’t the issue here, if your kids are using drugs that is a direct result if poor parenting. As a third generation resident of this town, I can tell you that this should be the least oc your worries, the drunk driving, reckless pill popping residents of this town are.

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36 Concerned Voter August 6, 2018 at 10:57 AM

Agree to some points and disagree with others. Agree that opioids are epidemic. Went to funeral of young adult last week. A PhD candidate, handsome, athletic good person. Never should have happened. But addiction is addiction. It is almost impossible to stop once the child or young adult makes that stupid choice or falls in with bad people.

Disagree on pot. In my opinion, pot absolutely can be a gateway drug. Peer pressure alone can get prove deadly. Parents, stay all over your kids and in their face shamelessly, with boundaries and groundings if necessary. Hug them and hound them. One strong path to success in getting them over the hump and through the young adult phase is to drum into their heads that the best way to stop is to never start (before risks pop up) and that you love them. Once bad people get a hold of them, there is a real risk they will end up like the young adult above. It is more prevalent than ever. Stunning and awful. It’s all for money. Make no mistake this is a drug war. Watch it from 30,000 feet on “Drugs, Inc.,” on cable and on Youtube. Eye opening when you understand all this as a business. It’s all about the money. And creating more addicts.

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37 Resident August 3, 2018 at 2:37 PM

The real cause for concern is that apparently so many parents feel deficient in their parenting skills, or lacking in support and resources to educate their children about medical marijuana use. Perhaps the town should look into providing support for this. Maybe rec could help. A marijuana derived drug has been approved by the FDA for use in children for a very specific illness, but approved nonetheless.
It’s hard to feign safety concerns when the police department is comfortable with measures taken and when some safety recommendations were declined by nearby residents.
To date, any connection between marijuana use and emphysema has been anecdotal at best. The concern is interesting but apparently very targeted as “this facility doesn’t belong in a town like ours, but should be in one of the adjacent towns”. I guess it’s ok for others to have perceived negative effects. Comments and attitudes like those made in public I find far more dangerous. Actually, non-inhilation marijuana products have been used to treat emphysema and it’s side effects.
There has been far too much over reacting. We can do this and can do it with less drama.

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38 Dean Dairy August 3, 2018 at 4:29 PM

Just think to the economic opportunities that’ll be created.

I’m opening my own “Primitive Art” store.

https://youtu.be/CKOc6hXMDhc?t=14s

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39 Kelly Roney August 6, 2018 at 11:39 AM

A century of prohibition has failed, although it has motivated tons of imports and illegal border crossings. But that’s for recreational cannabis, which Southborough has prohibited. (This local ability to prohibit recreational pot was not in the original voter-passed law. The legislature added it for communities whose voters were against passage of the initiative petition. That sounds a lot like the lege being responsive to the people to me, even though their improvements to the petition-passed law have delayed its implementation. I applaud that responsiveness.)

It’s ridiculous that marijuana’s a Schedule I drug at the Federal level. That was never justifiable. Cannabis is clearly beneficial for several medical conditions, and medical marijuana is what this store will sell.

Marijuana is not completely safe. Few substance are. But it’s definitely safer than alcohol or prescription opioids.

After that century of failed prohibition, can we try some other public policy approach?

I’ll still prefer a gin and tonic!

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40 Concerned Voter August 6, 2018 at 5:53 PM

What about those Conflict of Interest Forms cited above, Mr. Walker and Mr. Eagle on the ZBA? Were those COI Forms for this pot shop? Did those filing the forms sit on the granting of the permits? Who is minding the store, so to speak, and these conflict forms? Has anyone, Mr. Walker or Mr. Eagle, or anyone on BOS or in town government turned those Conflict Forms in to the State for an opinion?

In the meantime, the Boston Children’s Hospital experts offer the following for parents:
https://thriving.childrenshospital.org/marijuana-advice/

See the above link to read that Dr. Levy at Children’s Hospital in Boston finds:
1) Marijuana is harmful to adolescents.
2) Anyone can overdose on marijuana.
3) Marijuana is addictive.
4) Marijuana is not necessarily safer than alcohol.

To parents, another helpful link is the following link to Children’s Hospital in Boston, Dr. Lydia Shrier:

https://notes.childrenshospital.org/adolescent-cannabis-use-intervention/

“Whatever your views are on medical or recreational cannabis use for adults, however, there’s near-universal agreement that adolescents should not use cannabis,” says Lydia Shrier, MD, MPH, who directs clinic-based research in the Boston Children’s Hospital Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine.

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41 M August 13, 2018 at 11:59 AM

Didn’t you already post this paragraph? Why don’t you just reply to everyone you disagree with using this same paragraph?

The best line is “marijuana is not necessarily safer than alcohol.” Yet alcohol is legal and sold downtown and near schools and is in most people’s homes with children and, readily available to adolescents. So why don’t you attack the laws for the selling of alcohol, PLEASE!

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42 Todd August 7, 2018 at 12:33 AM

Can we all move on to fighting Park Central now?

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43 Louise Barron August 17, 2018 at 8:00 PM

Todd, We’re fighting everything. From collusion, corruption, fraud, conflict of interest, nepotism, even the construction cosa nostra.

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44 John Butler August 7, 2018 at 12:43 AM

As for the democratic way in which this happened, a citizen petition was approved for medical marijuana at the Statewide ballot box. In Southborough, it passed with a 63% margin, 3560 to 2097. Then, locally, a very restrictive zoning concept for stores failed the Town Meeting process. Later, Town Meeting voted the less restrictive zoning that permitted this store. That vote was the key step in the process, not the action of any board. It was all done in public meetings, with a public hearing followed by a 2/3 vote of Town Meeting. After that Town Meeting, some citizens, having failed to show up to vote, or having been outvoted, tried to reverse the Town Meeting vote that permitted this. Their action was too late to be effective. All the 500 signature stuff was after Town Meeting approved the relevant zoning by 2/3 vote. That 2/3 vote on zoning was the crucial event.

There aren’t many parts of this country, or any country, in which such decisions are made by a process as democratic, top to bottom, as the one that produced this. A huge majority vote in the State, a huge majority vote in Southborough, a 2/3 vote of Town Meeting, that’s democracy. It is reasonable, of course, to be upset with votes that don’t go your way, but, if you don’t know what’s going on, if you fail to show up to vote when required, don’t try to blame your disappointment on others.

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45 SB Resident August 7, 2018 at 11:17 AM

Pretty much everything you wrote about how this went down is twisting the truth.

The most true thing in there is the first two sentences, but the problem with ballot questions is that, in general, it is simply voting for a concept and not an implementation. It is the implementation that most are disappointed in.

To say “Then, locally, a very restrictive zoning concept for stores failed the Town Meeting process.” is an enormous over-simplification of what happened at the special town meeting in 2013. Prior to literally that day, planning board was ready to support the article, but then some crazy politics occurred (what else is new) and the article very likely would have passed without the last minute shenanigans was postponed not rejected.

Ultimately there was a bait and switch at the last minute, and then the debate went on for far too long, as this was a special town meeting, the majority of people who were there, were there for article 7 Barn Lane open space, and they voted to postpone because it was the first and fastest way out so that they could get on to the article that mattered to them.

Then later, town meeting voted the less restrictive zoning because that was all that was put forth, more restrictive still would have passed as well. Many of the people on that 500 signature list voted for the zoning that we currently have because not voting for it would have left us wide open. The crucial event was not the 2/3 vote on the current zoning, the crucial events were the behind the scenes actions that led to town meeting only getting to vote the overly non-restrictive zoning by-law that led to us having the dispensary where it is today. I wouldn’t be surprised if all this occurred specifically because the plan for the current location was already desired and the restrictive article was deliberately derailed and the non-restrictive article was drafted precisely to allow this location to be included, but maybe I just watch too much tv.

Anyway, to try and twist a process that was ripe with controversy as a wonderful example of top to bottom democracy is laughable.

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46 Concerned Voter August 8, 2018 at 8:16 AM

Thank you SD Resident for the background. Some of this is recalled, and appreciate the rest of the big picture. So Mr. Butler, this is why many residents are distrustful of those persons who break state laws, Ethics Laws, and Open Meeting Laws. All of them do not belong on any committee, Board, or public seat. They need to move on. Dirty, filthy local politics. Manipulating the process. Has anyone looked into those Conflict of Interest forms that are posted on the Town’s website, previously cited under this article? Did those ZBA members sit on this pot shop location? Were those COI Forms turned into the state for an opinion?

It’s slowly getting better perhaps, but it will get a lot better when the good ole boys realize they have lost every bit of credibility and support in this town. Move on. This town needs change and it doesn’t involve anyone breaking state laws.

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47 Tim Martel August 8, 2018 at 1:54 PM

To be fair, the reason why the more restrictive version was pulled was because of the belief that it would not pass the Attorney General’s scrutiny. i.e. the first, more restrictive version of the bylaw functionally prevented a dispensary from being established in Southborough. The danger was that such a situation (i.e. AG strikes down bylaw) would have resulted in the town being wide-open for dispensaries.

OTOH, I am seeing cases in CA where the courts are ruling in favor of the towns over the dispensaries. So it appears that our town may well have won in the end had the Planning Board pushed forward with the more restrictive version. You know what they say about hindsight…

FWIW, I do believe people acted in good faith.

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48 Concerned Voter August 8, 2018 at 6:04 PM

There is a legitimate question outstanding:
What about the Conflict of Interest Forms posted on the Town’s website under “Minutes?” Have you looked at those? Has anyone some idea of whether or not those individuals sat on the permitting for this pot shop? Were the forms submitted to the state for any conflict opinion? Is anyone following up on this?

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49 beth August 9, 2018 at 8:39 AM

Given your concern, I’m puzzled as to why you didn’t look it up yourself. (The meeting minutes are even more easily found than any conflict forms. For future reference, you can check the committee/board’s page, scroll down to minutes on the right, and there are links to minutes organized by meeting date.)

But, to answer your question, neither member who filed the conflict forms you refer to sat on the decision.

The decision was ruled on 4-1 by members Bartolini, Bhisitkul, Dennington, Drepanos, Williams. Thomas Bhistikul was the minority decision. You have posted comments about conflict forms filed by Mr. Walker and Mr. Eagle.

You can read the board’s minutes here: https://www.southboroughtown.com/sites/southboroughma/files/minutes/zba_minutes_3.24.16.pdf

You can read my coverage from that time here: http://www.mysouthborough.com/2016/03/25/medical-marijuana-dispensary-approved-by-zba-4-1/

50 John Butler August 8, 2018 at 2:18 PM

No truths were twisted in what I wrote.

Democracy, particularly, on the small scale on which we enjoy it, requires some modest competence on the part of citizens. If you stand by the sidelines hurling anonymous accusations at volunteers, like me, that is only a path to the disappointment you now feel.

Your statement of Town Meeting “only getting to vote” on one proposal is just a demonstration of your not knowing how this democracy works. You needed to move to amend the proposed zoning from the floor of Town Meeting before it passed. Such amendments are proposed frequently, and, have a fair chance of passing, sometimes to the chagrin of the Planning Board. Ideally you would have gone to the Planning Office the week before the vote on the less restrictive zoning and ask for a copy of the more restrictive zoning proposal that failed in the earlier Town Meeting. It would have taken you 15 minutes. Then you needed to stand up at Town Meeting and move to amend the motion, proposing the more restrictive zoning, before the less restrictive was passed by 2/3. You had your chance and you failed.

As for your insinuation that a fix was in when the first proposal failed, it’s nuts, a symptom of your not knowing how your democracy works. Selectmen, Advisory, Planning Board and Board of Health all worked hard to find a solution. For Advisory Committee, which I was on at the time, there were two important factors, as I recall, that led us, by open majority vote, to not support the more restrictive zoning proposal. First was the voted opposition of the Board of Health to the more restrictive proposal. For me the statement of Dr. Louis Fazen, of the Board of Health, before Advisory Committee was particularly compelling, as I weighed the factors. He told us that, as a medical expert in public health, he had testified in opposition to medical marijuana before the State Legislature. But, as I recall, he said that listening to the other witnesses at the State House convinced him that the medical profession was missing something important, and that marijuana was providing real relief, somehow, to those suffering from intractable conditions. He felt therefore that, given that the State Law had since changed to permit it, we should not discriminate against those in need by making it any harder for them to obtain, or place it so as to suggest that their needs were to live only at the back of the bus. That is why he opposed the first zoning proposal, as I recall. Secondly we heard from a professional at a major local hospital who said that they had routinely and illegally administered marijuana to those unable to hold down any food while undergoing chemotherapy, and had to block the airflows from a room in the hospital so that the odor of it would not be detected. It was an image of desperation. We were asked by this person not to do anything that would make life any harder for those patients, including showing that their needs met with disapproval by not permitting sales where other retail outlets might be. My listening carefully to these people, and many committees weighing what we had heard, is the “politics” you would now like to anonymously besmirch. Lacking support of both a majority of Advisory Committee and the Board of Health for the more restrictive proposal, and perhaps suffering some further technical flaws (as I recall) the Planning Board decided to recommend withdrawing the first proposal, subject to approval of Town Meeting, which was given by majority vote. Some people still wanted it, but it lost based on those factors. There is nothing undemocratic about these kinds of deliberations. They are how democracy works and were at all times open to anyone’s participation.

Oh and by the way, this facility is no more significant, no more corrupting of youth, than where beer is sold in Town. You may be surprised to find that, contrary to all the hysteria on this, the sky is not actually falling, as the fullness of time, yet again, will demonstrate.

Human abuse of mind altering substances pose unsolvable social problems, making it easy to throw stones at those who try to deal with them. You should stop hiding behind anonymity making false accusations that libel the honest efforts of volunteers here.

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51 Mark Fallon August 8, 2018 at 2:46 PM

Mr. Butler,

Thank you for the detailed explanation. And thank you for all the time you volunteered serving this town, that’s what we need to make our democratic process work.

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52 Concerned Voter August 8, 2018 at 6:01 PM

Mr. Butler, your opinion matters and many thank you for all your participation, including myself. However, it is my opinion that there is oversimplification in some of your opinion that is cause for disagreement.

With the proviso of “agreeing to disagree” perhaps, the location is one huge matter of disagreement, in spite of your explanation on zoning. Many find this location objectionable.

Also, the long explanation above does not address the Conflict of Interest forms posted on the town’s website (under Minutes) and the legitimate questions related to those. Those need follow up and everyone should pay attention.

Your opinion above is a mixed narrative of the marijuana debate versus the less restrictive versus more restrictive zoning. The town relies on people like you, since you are so immersed, to take actions like what you describe above — maybe you could have taken the 15 minutes you describe and put forward the more restrictive zoning by amending the motion? Not all citizens know how to do that.

Disagree about the beer analogy completely, having witnessed different experiences with young adults ending up tragically. Take a look at the medical experts, Children’s Hospital’s website / advisories on pot use. There are more considerations than meet the eye. Children and young adults do somehow get a hold of edibles and end up in the emergency room.

However, again, in a civilized society, we all contribute to the discussion to come up with the best possible outcomes.

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53 Kelly Roney August 9, 2018 at 1:40 PM

Ouch! That’s going to leave a mark.

Democracy prevailed on this topic. The process was fine. The majority have spoken.

Now the minority want another bite at the apple, and that could be democratic, too. But their disagreement should clearly be seen as disagreement with the public policy, not with the several ways it was arrived at and voted into place. They simply disagree with the current results of democracy.

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54 Matthew Brownell August 9, 2018 at 3:21 PM

Kelly Roney-

The MAJORITY have *NOT* spoken , or voted on this imbecilic pro-stoner movement and referendum from the 2016 Massachusetts Election.

You and Mr. Butler are conferring *Majority* status on Marijuana legalization , when, in fact, a nominal PLURALITY ( 28.24%) of registered Massachusetts voters rolled with the Stoners. ( 4,486, 849 registered MA voters; 1,267,142
voted to legalize weed )

And while I commend the Weed Brigade for organizing a very aggressive, well-oiled campaign to engage our Commonwealth with hemp, it is intellectually dishonest to downplay the negative health effects of hemp, and the overriding warnings from top medical experts about MJ, and it’s effects on adolescents and young adults.

as you and Mr. Butler

55 Concerned Voter August 9, 2018 at 5:44 PM

Don’t agree at all that the “process was fine.” Look at the location. Look at the 500 person signature petition of residents who are against this. And the project ends up “ANR” approval not required?

And two members (of a five member board) reportedly recuse themselves, with one citing “former partner” involvement?

Pot shops shouldn’t be anywhere near neighborhoods with kids, school zones, young adults.

Everything can be flipped, including this at the State level, thankfully.

56 Kelly Roney August 9, 2018 at 11:10 PM

So, Matthew, you discount the results of every election held in America in the past, say, 50 years.

Good to know. Pretty silly, though. We’ve set up the way we determine the will of the majority, and non-participation is acquiescence to those who do participate.

Your carping still doesn’t change the fact that this was democratically decided. Your hysteria about marijuana also doesn’t change the fact that nearly everyone who consumes it does so safely.

Further, the law as passed and as amended by the Legislature, most of which is pretty skeptical of legalization, continues to prohibit recreational consumption of marijuana by people under 21 – and that science backs up that prohibition. By and large, it’s only the illegal dealers who are trying to turn on teens, and we as citizens should deal with any Joe Camel marketing of pot the same way we dealt with it for tobacco.

By the way, “top medical experts” are not at all unanimous about ill effects of marijuana on adults. Lung cancer? Nope. Emphysema? Nope. Throat cancer? Nope. Obesity? Nope. (No, I didn’t know this off the top of my head. I spent some time today googling. Unexpectedly, I found there’s a statistically significant increased risk of testicular cancer.)

The truth is that we’ve run an informal century-long longitudinal study on the effects of marijuana consumption – lifetime prevalence of use for my age cohort is at least 50% – and the results are unequivocal – it can be harmful to some people, but it doesn’t approach anywhere close to the adverse impacts of alcohol on society or on its consumers. Louise can come up with one tragic car accident that might have been caused by a marijuana-impaired driver. There are hundreds per year caused by drunk drivers. Mainly stoners drive too slow. Alcohol causes major organ failure, not pot. You can overdose fatally on alcohol. I’ve never heard of a single case of fatal marijuana overdose. Tons of people throw their lives away on booze; some do on pot; some do without a substance. Alcohol is almost a constant in domestic and other violence, not pot.

We know this. It’s not up for factual dispute, just knee-jerk reactions straight out of the discredited Reefer Madness era.

But even with all that said, if you want to change the democratic and above-board decision we arrived at state-wide, I’m not saying you can’t start campaigning for it. That’s democracy.

57 SB Resident August 10, 2018 at 12:19 PM

OMG, this is exactly the “politics” that I would like to anonymously besmirch. Medicine and policy needs to be based on hard science, not anecdotal stories told during a town meeting. The fact that you were so easily swayed by a singular story is exactly why ‘the people’ shouldn’t be determining this type of legislation. We, our democracy, have already created a way to determine what medicines are safe and effective, drugs have to be studied, tested and cleared for safe use. It constantly occurs that experts (doctors) think a particular drug is the next wonder drug and the trials prove otherwise. One doctor saying I see miracles when patients smoke the stuff is not science and these doctors of all people should know this. If mj was a legit medicine, these studies would have been done, the results would be clear and we’d be able to package the actual medicine in a more standard form and sell it in pharmacies like every other drug.

I completely agree with you that I do not participate in our democracy as it is. Personally I think there are so many problems with it, particularly the lack of anonymity, but also the shenanigans that I described that you think is an acceptable part of the process, and the amount of time it takes to debate relatively inconsequential decisions. Our “democracy” is run by people who don’t mind if they’re hated and whose time it is worth the effort but hey I voted so yeah democracy. Given town meeting participation I think I’m in the majority on this one, oh wait, that’s democracy.

I personally don’t really care that much that there is a pot shop in town particularly with where it ended up and how it appears. I was mostly worried about my property value because clearly many people do care. People will get their weed one way or another and given full legalization, I don’t understand how they are going to stay in business in the long term anyway, but I’m guessing the tax incentives make it so they will be cheaper or they are hoping the courts overrule our zoning.

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58 John Butler August 11, 2018 at 9:38 AM

SB Resident – at least now we have moved off of your “too much TV” scenarios of the fix being in, and your accusing me of twisting the truth. That’s progress.

Your riff on how medicine needs to be conducted sounds good, but was irrelevant to the decision about zoning. Legalization of medical marijuana was already an accomplished fact at the time the zoning question arose. The only question before us was, given that Southborough had voted for medical marijuana by 63% majority, given that legalization was an accomplished fact, should the Town force some very ill people, who think they need it, to feel as though they are being discriminated against by locating it far away from other retail locations, or effectively prohibiting sale in Town. Some think yes, and some think no. The Town Meeting process, that I described, decided by 2/3 vote to permit the Rt. 9 location.

You don’t like the outcome for your own reasons, or the considerations that went into it. That’s perfectly fine. Disagreeing with any decision, how the factors were weighed, or how this democracy operates, is a common and healthy thing in any democracy. On those topics, by all means enjoy your anonymity. However, asserting that it was fixed or underhanded is a false libel of many people who volunteered their time. That is all I have wanted to establish, by letting fair minded readers know what happened.

59 JMO August 17, 2018 at 10:23 PM

” If mj was a legit medicine, these studies would have been done, the results would be clear and we’d be able to package the actual medicine in a more standard form and sell it in pharmacies like every other drug.” Well if only it were that simple. The problem is the US Government is hostile to the very idea and simply does not release many funds for study. This is rooted in historical policy and not on any hard science. From what I have learned, Israel is way of ahead of the curve in their research on the medicinal uses of pot. I started watching as many documentaries as I could on the topic once I learned of the opening on Route 9 because quite honestly I was very concerned. I have come to believe that the American people have been duped into believing a whole host of falsehoods surrounding marijuana use. I don’t believe for a minute that kids are going to suddenly have easy access to drugs and destroy their lives because of this dispensary. Some kids will destroy their lives due to drugs, but it’s not going to be because we have a medical dispensary in Southborough. Why aren’t you same people worried that because alcohol is sold in town, the kids will all become alcoholics? And, it’s not like kids who want drugs don’t already get them. They don’t need a sign on Route 9 to direct them. Bring marijuana above ground, let it be regulated, and taxed. And, as with anything, educate yourself and keep an open mind.

60 Kelly Roney August 21, 2018 at 3:40 PM

The Feds have made it very hard to study the real medicinal effects of marijuana by irrational prohibition. It’s not money they’ve withheld, it’s permission, which is required because it’s ridiculously a Schedule I drug.

Because it’s been declared to have no medical uses, scientists can’t study it to prove its informal medical uses, for example, against nausea and lack of appetite during chemotherapy. Catch-22.

61 M August 13, 2018 at 12:09 PM

Thank you John. I totally agree with your assessment. I participated and attended the meetings. If some think it is oversimplified, well, after all the ranting within this blog, and the misinformation and misleading statements, perhaps your straightforward overview is needed.

Thank you, also, for your years of dedication and service and for applying your experience to an informed post herein.

Thank you Beth for providing the links to inform those who may be confused as to the actual process.

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62 Concerned Voter August 7, 2018 at 7:32 AM

All for democracy. But sometimes, John, the electorate can be caught unawares — both at the state level and the local level. This is one of those cases. Well planned out lobbying at the state level (which includes out of state interests) can and do achieve their goals catching the public at large unaware.

That said, this isn’t a case of “blame your disappointment on others.” There is plenty of reason for parents and residents to express their voice via a petition. They are truly representative of those who were caught off guard, but decided to make their voice heard via that other democratic process — a petition to local government.

Regardless, it is all still illegal on the Federal level. That said, it is encouraging to see other communities push back. Whatever can be done, can be undone! Especially via grass roots efforts. (Look at Main Street as an example: the voters here in town did not vote that through. What happened? Opposition forces didn’t like the first vote at one Town Meeting, and put it on the next one — brainwashed the public for hours (with little to no opposing opinion) and there you have it, a reversal!) Glad it still illegal and open to the Feds raiding the place, while citizens put it back on the State ballot for reversal. Now that’s democracy!

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63 Louise Barron August 7, 2018 at 10:05 AM

How can rational, educated (questionable) common sense, individuals speak for, support. even encourage, evade, ignore, consider benign, a drug that can harm more than it can help. Pot will be controlled, you mean like opiates?????? Not comparing the two drug categories, just emphasizing the fact that drugs, pot, can’t be controlled, as you all seem to think. Of course alcohol is an obvious problem. This country sadly is hooked. Watch Live P.D.on TV. Even if you don’t believe half of what you are watching, the other half shows the degree, where we are, as a nation, in terms of drug addiction. Alcohol as well. It is very ugly. These are not statements to rail against, but rather a very scary view of our future and that of our society. You all seem to ignore the true facts of an image of a brain that has been affected by pot use, or Mass State Trooper Clardy’s heinous death on the Mass. Pike, by a pot smoking driver. Please don’t ignore the pain his famliy is going through. Mention him in your response. He deserves it, or do you really only care about your remarks. His death hit me very hard, because it portends the future with pot. BTW, Adam, if I were to drink beer, it would be in a tall chilled appropriate beer glass with my initials on it, at home dear. Really!!!!!!!

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64 SD Resident August 7, 2018 at 1:56 PM

Todd/All does anyone know where I can find the REAL update on Park Central? Haven’t heard word on this project in a while

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65 YoungVoter August 9, 2018 at 12:08 AM

Just a reminder, we are in the height of an opioid epidemic. There are more productive places to put your passion and energy. Here are some resources for getting informed. Peace&love.
Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones (availiable at the Southborough library)
NYT piece answer FAQs: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/08/03/upshot/opioid-drug-overdose-epidemic.html
Show up to the poles in November and elect legislators who hope to create addict resources.

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66 Kelly Roney August 9, 2018 at 12:57 PM

Good article!

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67 who_s_there August 29, 2018 at 2:22 PM

yeah… read the BOOK – it’s a real eye-opener. How do all of these middle class people become opiate addicts? Their PHYSICIANS PRESCRIBE the stuff for them. I guess the ‘first do no harm’ clause has gone out of fashion. There are many non-addictive prescription pain relievers out there. WHY do they keep choosing opiates?

As for all of the HYSTERIA over the marijuana dispensary in Southborough some people need to GET OVER IT. As repeatedly noted, once cannot even enter the premises without a valid prescription. How do you propose that some school kid is going to get in and run off with any substance? NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

Again, GET OVER IT – move on to something like Park Central and as far as the dispensary is concerned, FUGGEDABOUDIT!!!

Really.

No, REALLY!!!

85+ comments – all LONG after the fact. As noted above, you had your chance, several times, to act on the measure, votes were cast and the decision was made. Now it’s time for you to show how grown up you are and MOVE ON.

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68 Rose Mauro August 9, 2018 at 8:46 PM

It is just one study, but researchers at the University of Bonn found some remarkable results on the effect of low-dose THC (marijuana’s active ingredient) on elderly mice. It significantly improved cognitive performance. This was surprising ,as it has the opposite effect in adolescents. It would be sad if all of the stigma surrounding this drug turns out to have set back medical research. Marijuana may boost rather than dull the elderly brain – Scientific American
Abstract

See also The Grass Might Be Greener: Medical Marijuana Patients Exhibit Altered Brain Activity and Improved Executive Function after 3 Months of Treatment

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69 M August 13, 2018 at 12:12 PM

Thank you for those links Rose.

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70 Concerned Voter August 10, 2018 at 8:01 AM

Yes.
And as I clarified yesterday, two members of that Board (TWO!) had Conflicts of Interest, with one citing some kind of FORMER PARTNER relationship to the OWNER.

The troubling remaining questions relate to the above comments on less restrictive zoning versus more restrictive. Even Mr. Butler, no offense to him, could have done as he suggested, i.e. “take the 15 minutes” solution and amend from the floor. Still left wondering why he or others did not do that. Perhaps ordinary lay persons, voters, do not understand that that option was available to them. This is where regular citizens do rely on Mr. Butler and others who have kept up with the matter for their input on what those options are and how they could play out. Not just one side of the equation.

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71 Louise Barron August 13, 2018 at 11:09 PM

Louise is referring to Trooper Clardy’s death by a dope smoking cretin. Do you think this is a singular anomaly. So, if thousand’s are injured and killed on our roads from DUI from alcohol, and that apparently is what bothers everyone, then deaths and accidents from DUI of pot, should as well. It is a hallucinogenic “drug”, and will Impair your ability to drive. Do you get it now.

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72 D. McGee August 15, 2018 at 3:39 PM

Fake news. Marijuana is NOT a hallucinogenic drug. If you’re going to rant, at least rant with the facts.

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73 Louise Barron August 18, 2018 at 11:36 AM

Look up the affects of THC, and why people are clamoring to inhale it, Tt’s a hallucinogenic drug

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74 Kelly Roney August 21, 2018 at 3:35 PM

Just wait until there’s an effort to legalize medical psilocybin (from magic mushrooms). Louise is going to lose her stuff over that!

Psilocybin is actually a hallucinogen, which marijuana most certainly is not, since marijuana does not make users see or hear things that aren’t there. (Opioids and alcohol are also not hallucinogens, although late stage alcoholism can induce delirium tremens, which can include hallucinations.)

Johns Hopkins has been studying psilocybin for decades, and they have made a strong case for its use in microdoses against depression.

But, as my parents often told me, information cannot argue with a closed mind.

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75 Southsider August 15, 2018 at 4:08 PM

The fact remains that this business was approved and is now open. Get over it and move on to some other pressing issues

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76 Pat D August 16, 2018 at 9:30 AM

I agree, enough said about this topic!! Let’s move on to something more pressing such as derailing Park Central and all the problems that development would create.

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77 North Sider August 30, 2018 at 8:07 AM

100% agree. I can’t get over the drama about this. It’s here, let’s focus our energy elsewhere!

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78 Ruth August 16, 2018 at 9:47 AM

My brother died at the hands of a drunk driver. I don’t think it would have happened if she just smoked a joint.

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79 Concerned Voter August 16, 2018 at 12:27 PM

Here is a published excerpt: “The British Medical Journal indicated that “drivers who consume cannabis within three hours of driving are nearly twice as likely to cause a vehicle collision as those who are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”

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80 Louise Barron August 16, 2018 at 9:06 PM

Ruth I swore I wouldn’t say one more word on pot again. You drew me back in. Have you read about Trooper Thomas Clardy killed on the Mass Pike, about 3 years ago, by a pot smoking man, who had just bought his pot from the dispensary in Brookline. Alcohol, pot, opiates, all alter ones ability to FUNCTION normally. OK!
look up the affects of THC.

As for Pat. D, enough will never be said as long as people are using a drug that alters and impairs one’s driving from the effects of THC., and could kill someone on the road.

As for Young Voter, I don’t think the NYT is a reputable resource for facts. If you are young, then add uninformed, and inexperienced, to your resume. I don’t want to hear another word about the affects and deaths from opiate abuse, as long as you and others are fighting for pot use, that according to news in Colorado, deaths from those driving under the influence of pot has increased significantly since it was legalized in 2013. Now, you read the Denver times “young voter”. Become informed about affects of many drugs while driving.

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81 who_s_there August 29, 2018 at 2:29 PM

By the same ‘logic’, if I buy a 6-pack at the store, then am involved in some traffic fatality, I must have been DUI.

WRONG!!!

As far as the BMJ, the poster (of course) does not provide and pertinent details to support the ‘headline’:

* how much cannabis (dosage?)

* does ‘twice as likely’ mean guaranteed?

People who don’t get enough sleep are ‘more likely’ to have motor vehicle collisions too! Shall we establish a Sleep Police force?

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82 North Sider August 30, 2018 at 8:10 AM

Young Voter is quoting the NYT, not TMZ, Louise. And insulting that person by calling them uninformed and inexperienced when you know nothing about them is just low. Go smoke a joint and relax.

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83 Kate Noke August 17, 2018 at 7:14 PM

Louise, while I appreciate that you have very firm opinions and convictions, I hope you’ll be mindful of the fact that others do also, and consider that when you’re trying to convince others of the sincerity of your arguments. Using terms like “cretin,” “uninformed,” “inexperienced” may unfortunately likely deters readers from hearing some of your points. It’s disconcerting to be asked, “Do you get it now” when posters are attempting to share their point of view calmly (the level of apparent contempt in this line really shocked me). I don’t personally believe that everyone with a prescription will automatically become a drug dealer, and I really wish that my own mother had been able to obtain medical marijuana rather than oxycontin (which terrified her, by the way) when she was in agony and dying from metastatic cancer

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84 Kelly Roney August 21, 2018 at 3:37 PM

Amen, Kate.

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85 beth August 10, 2018 at 7:51 AM

As I clarified yesterday, 5 non-conflicted-out members voted. To further clarify – the board has 7 members including alternates. Only one regular member (Eagle) was conflicted out. He was replaced by an alternate.

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86 beth August 10, 2018 at 8:09 AM

I have to correct one of your statistics. According to the National Highway Traffic Association – drunk driving doesn’t kill hundreds per year. It kills about 10,000 per year. And in our own town in recent years, our SPD officers were crashed into three times by allegedly intoxicated drivers.

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87 Kelly Roney August 10, 2018 at 4:08 PM

Absolutely! Hundreds in Massachusetts.

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88 Concerned Voter August 10, 2018 at 5:26 PM

Beth — does the National Hwy comment belong in another article or under some other comment — don’t see what it corresponds to. Thanks — have a great weekend!

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89 beth August 12, 2018 at 3:35 PM

It was a response to Kelly Roney’s comment, “Louise can come up with one tragic car accident that might have been caused by a marijuana-impaired driver. There are hundreds per year caused by drunk drivers.” She was referring to deaths.

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