Mayor Wants Medical Marijuana Moratorium

Medical marijuana is popular in Somerville. A moratorium on dispensaries would give the city time to plan, according to the mayor's office.

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone will seek a year-long moratorium on the creation of medical marijuana dispensaries in Somerville, according to an announcement sent by the mayor's office Wednesday.

Massachusetts voters approved medical marijuana at the ballot in November, 2012, and the new law says every county in the state must have at least one medical marijuana dispensary, but there can't be more than five in a given county. The Massachusetts Public Health Council approved more detailed regulations on May 24 for medical marijuana, and some communities have voted to ban dispensaries.

According to the announcement from Curtatone's office, the mayor is asking the Somerville Board of Aldermen to approve a moratorium on dispensaries through June 30, 2014.

Doing so will let the city's legal department study the new regulations and allow the planning and health departments to review the city's ordinances relating to the law, the announcement says.

Curtatone recently told the Boston Globe he wasn't necessarily opposed to having a medical marijuana dispensary to Somerville.

"I support the use of medical marijuana and this community supports it, and the voters spoke loudly and clearly," Curtatone told the newspaper, adding, "I think it’s fair to say that the majority of the people of the community would want the planning and the siting of a facility to be done in a strategic and a smart way."

In Somerville, 73 percent of voters cast ballots in favor of medical marijuana in November, while 20 percent voted against the measure and 5.8 percent left that question (Question 3) blank.

Across the state, 63 percent of voters approved medical marijuana.

Bay State Cannabis Co. June 13, 2013 at 01:13 PM
A moratorium that extends past the filing deadline is effectively a ban. If the town already has zoning in place then I fail to see the need for such a moratorium. I sure hope the Somerville voters who fought so hard to see this legislation passed will step up now and defend it against the few attempting to undermine it now. -Bay State Cannabis Co. www.baystatecannabis.org
Heather E Stockwell June 13, 2013 at 01:16 PM
Moratorium= prolonged suffering. C'mon Joe, we voted for it, stop the NIMBY dithering.
Donal Waide June 13, 2013 at 04:13 PM
The people of Massachusetts have spoken and 63% of them approved so stop stalling and let the people get what they voted for http://www.mpp.org/states/massachusetts/ Just like a casino, or a bar, or a restaurant. Just because it's there doesn't mean everyone is going to use and abuse it.
Eric June 13, 2013 at 04:40 PM
"Just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should." I would like to see the Mayor and the BOA ban dispensaries, like some of the smarter communities have already done.
Dave Bostwick June 13, 2013 at 06:12 PM
Strange how, and I’m pro-choice,, with abortion, “It’s my body, my choice”. But it’s a whole different thing when it’s something that every normal person wants that hurts NO ONE!!!!
Heather E Stockwell June 13, 2013 at 06:20 PM
Eric, that's going against the will of the voters. The communities banning dispensaries are NIMBYs and hypocrits and I hope their leaders are voted out for ignoring the majority who want dispensaries.
Esoteric Knowledge June 13, 2013 at 06:26 PM
The marijuana plant is coming to get you! Run for your lives! Plants....Growing....??!!!....Noooo!!!! What ever will we do!?!
Esoteric Knowledge June 13, 2013 at 06:32 PM
Just round up your "smart" bigot buddies and make it happen! And you can play God by banning a naturally occurring species from the other humans, violate people's rights and chain people up their entire lives because you're "smart"!
Dave Bostwick June 13, 2013 at 07:09 PM
I have to ask,, should the mayor and the BOA remove cigarettes and alcohol from the town as well???
Dave Bostwick June 13, 2013 at 07:22 PM
“I think it really absurd to be criminalizing possession or use or distribution of marijuana. I can't see any difference between that and cigarettes. But also I'm skeptical about the other drug laws... The notion of using the criminal law as the primary means of dealing with a problem of addiction, of misuse, of ingesting dangerous drugs -- I don't think that's sensible at all. That is responsible for a high percentage of our prisoners. And these punishments are often very, very severe... It's all very expensive, and it's a waste of a lot of high quality legal minds, but it's also a waste of people's lives who could be as least moderately productive with having to spend year after year in prison. That is a serious problem.” Richard PosnerFederal Judge on U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Speech at Elmhurst College Agree with Richard? http://marijuanamajority.com/?id=116
AHM June 13, 2013 at 07:55 PM
When you are the ceo of Somerville unlike a mayor you get to dictate what you want instead of a mayor who is supposed to do what we want. And he is running unopposed again.
Dave Bostwick June 14, 2013 at 01:03 AM
Are THESE the people you are afraid of??? http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=GhTYI3DeNgA#! Watch this and tell me the DOWN SIDE!!


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