Selling your town to the marijuana industry

I vowed to quit with marijuana, but I just can’t.  It’s addictive.

We can go back to 2016, when voters were hit with legalese that can only be described as a trap.  Basically, under the mask of legalizing the consumption of marijuana, the ballot question was really about opening recreational pot shops around the corner.  No doubt many, many people voted for legalization without knowledge of this and with no desire to have pot shops in their town.  What exultation must have come from the lawyers working for the industry, when their masterstroke made it to the fine print:

A town voting to legalize marijuana may MUST open pot shops.

At the same time, the administration of Newton changed.  Councilors who liked the place the way it is and wanted to protect it lost to others who wanted it more vibrant.  The new councilors and the new mayor sided with the marijuana industry.

The way in which they eventually won is sinister.  The context was that everybody in Newton wants at least some restriction on the number of marijuana stores.  But don’t take my word for this claim: even the pro-pot councilors believe so, and in fact almost unanimously they put a question on the ballot about restricting the number of stores.  At the same time, many people in Newton wanted zero stores.  In another masterstroke of the saga, the councilors were able to put one group against the other.  They added another question about having zero stores, following a massive, grassroots petition which however should have put the question at a different time. Then they forced the people who wanted zero stores to vote against restricting the number of stores. This is genius.  Also, if it isn’t illegal I believe it should be.  And in perfect coup style, media outlets censored several pieces explaining the situation to the voters. The end result was what the administration had always wanted: no restriction on the number of stores. Ignore the alarms of the doctors, the police officers, and the people.  What do they know about what’s best for Newton? The bottom line is that the revenue will do good things for the city! Oh yes, the revenue.  Newton has 1 billion dollars in deficit.  You read well, 1 billion.  For decades we will have a fraction of the city budget wiped out to repay that. I guess they can say we are so desperately in debt that we should rake in every penny we can zone in town.  But I think a more accurate perspective is that even in their wildest dreams, cannabis sales won’t make a dent in that.  And maybe they should spend a couple of minutes thinking about the dozens of other ways we can bring money to the city without bringing the drugs.

Executing their sophisticated plan cost in the neighborhood of $100k, mostly spent on a political strategy group which helped win the election.  To add insult to injury, key members of this marijuana combine, including the political strategists and those who funded them, don’t live in Newton but in towns where recreational pot stores are banned.  The marijuana combine is effectively carving out suburban Boston in areas where it’s good to live and areas where it’s good to sell pot.

As is well known, nobody has any problem with legalizing marijuana consumption.  Moreover, there is absolutely no problem with buying this stuff over the internet, or stocking up at out-of-the-way stores.  Well, absolutely no problem except one.  The money wouldn’t go into the pockets of X, Y, and Z.

9 thoughts on “Selling your town to the marijuana industry

  1. “A joint is like a pint of beer! Except beer does not give you permanent brain damage.” Wow does a more in-accurate statement exist?

  2. Newton / suffers form Mala prohibita Disease you have to remove selectmen and elected old farts who are pass a there ideals like many prohibitionist need removal fire them

  3. Someone just sent me this comment with several links about marijuana and brain damage:

    Marijuana use has a detrimental effect on the developing brain of a child
    or adolescent.

    According to a recent study published by the National Institute on Drug
    Abuse, an 18-year-old with three years of marijuana use four times per week
    was shown to have significant damage to the brain, with decreased blood
    flow and activity in the prefrontal cortex and temporal lobes. This damage
    is permanent.

  4. I understand that you believe cannabis should be illegal [or at least legitimate places to buy the plant], however, I don’t understand why. Having a cannabis store or a few in your town is not the apocalypse. It’s merely acknowledging that a large sum of people consumes the plant for recreational purposes. Some use it for medical relief. Why would having a cannabis store be any different from a convenience store selling alcohol or tobacco? Why restrict the consumption of “certain drugs” but not “all drugs”[including sales].

    Perhaps you feel ‘cheated’ into having cannabis stores in your town. I get that. But you must also understand that when Nixon declared the War on Drugs and added cannabis to the most restrictive category[against the recommendation of the Shafer Commission], the American people were duped as well, and since then has only suffered the destruction in the wake of the war. At the very least, this is the beginning of rectifying a wrong that has been done, funded by powerful lobbies at the highest level of government. When cannabis is legalized and people get the opportunity to purchase legally. There’s a novelty factor.

    Once the novelty factor wears off, the same people who have always smoked…will now be able to smoke without having to worry about getting busted by the cops. Just like having a beer.

    In relation to your studies…it’s hardly concrete data. Utilizing a study of 12 people to determine “permanent damage to the pre-frontal cortex and temporal lobe” wouldn’t stand up to even the slightest scientific scrutiny. Especially since they were all cigarette smokers as well. The neurological damage of tobacco is quite well documented.

    Now, I could go through every other study you mentioned and provide perspective on methodologies and so forth…however, my hopes here is not to incite rage. But to simply help you gain perspective on an issue that isn’t as ‘black and white’ as people want to make it out to be. And to question the studies you cite.

    All in all, we must respect the sovereignty of the individual to decide to experiment with their body and consciousness. If you won’t allow people to buy it at a store, at the very least let them grow it in the privacy of their own homes. Allow the individual [adult] to experience personal liberty. Why limit the freedom of someone else just because ‘you don’t like it’?

  5. People also consume cocaine, meth, etc. It’s a huge business. People will do this anyway, so why not open stores? Moreover, those substances are not that lethal, you don’t see people regularly taking cocaine dying like rats on the streets. In fact, marijuana is listed in Schedule 1 — the most dangerous — whereas cocaine in Schedule 2 by the DEA: (document reproduced below). In the past, coke contained cocaine, heroin was given as cough medicine, etc.

    If we now open stores for marijuana, what’s next? Look, we spent a lot of time and effort to make smoking tobacco unpopular in the US. Now we want to make smoking pot fashionable.

    And yes, I do feel cheated. As I wrote, I think the way the “election” was run in Newton should be illegal, it is isn’t already.

    Drugs, substances, and certain chemicals used to make drugs are classified into five (5) distinct categories or schedules depending upon the drug’s acceptable medical use and the drug’s abuse or dependency potential. The abuse rate is a determinate factor in the scheduling of the drug; for example, Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and the potential to create severe psychological and/or physical dependence. As the drug schedule changes– Schedule II, Schedule III, etc., so does the abuse potential– Schedule V drugs represents the least potential for abuse. A Listing of drugs and their schedule are located at Controlled Substance Act (CSA) Scheduling or CSA Scheduling by Alphabetical Order. These lists describes the basic or parent chemical and do not necessarily describe the salts, isomers and salts of isomers, esters, ethers and derivatives which may also be classified as controlled substances. These lists are intended as general references and are not comprehensive listings of all controlled substances.

    Please note that a substance need not be listed as a controlled substance to be treated as a Schedule I substance for criminal prosecution. A controlled substance analogue is a substance which is intended for human consumption and is structurally or pharmacologically substantially similar to or is represented as being similar to a Schedule I or Schedule II substance and is not an approved medication in the United States. (See 21 U.S.C. §802(32)(A) for the definition of a controlled substance analogue and 21 U.S.C. §813 for the schedule.)

    Schedule I

    Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are:

    heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote

    Schedule II

    Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous. Some examples of Schedule II drugs are:

    Combination products with less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per dosage unit (Vicodin), cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin

    Schedule III

    Schedule III drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence. Schedule III drugs abuse potential is less than Schedule I and Schedule II drugs but more than Schedule IV. Some examples of Schedule III drugs are:

    Products containing less than 90 milligrams of codeine per dosage unit (Tylenol with codeine), ketamine, anabolic steroids, testosterone

    Schedule IV

    Schedule IV drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a low potential for abuse and low risk of dependence. Some examples of Schedule IV drugs are:

    Xanax, Soma, Darvon, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan, Talwin, Ambien, Tramadol

    Schedule V

    Schedule V drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with lower potential for abuse than Schedule IV and consist of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Schedule V drugs are generally used for antidiarrheal, antitussive, and analgesic purposes. Some examples of Schedule V drugs are:

    cough preparations with less than 200 milligrams of codeine or per 100 milliliters (Robitussin AC), Lomotil, Motofen, Lyrica, Parepectolin

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