To the Editor:
In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts citizens believe they have voted in a sensible way regarding use of the drug marijuana.
Casual use in the home and carrying small amounts has been legalized. Growing small quantities is okay, too. You just can’t use marijuana in public.
Compassionate use and sale of marijuana is legal now. Medical dispensaries can fill valid prescriptions from physicians to relieve pain for those suffering from a wide range of illness and disease.
Commercial sale is meant to be decided on a community level by towns and cities. The referendum and resulting law signed by the governor in August allows for communities to make the choice.
By all accounts it is not a simple choice. There is much confusion about the complicated process necessary for towns to Opt-Out of commercial sales.
I do not want the identity of West Stockbridge, or other small towns, to be changed by allowing pot tourism. The experience of Colorado has shown that by opening up pot shops “…you’re going to get the whole Eastern Seaboard coming.”
I’m very proud of our small New England town with a quaint Main street; proud of Baldwin Extracts, Baldwin Hardware, Hotchkiss Mobile, Rouge, Trucs and the Public Market. I see new business thrive like Six Depot that signal to Berkshire County that we live in a friendly, family oriented town.
We need to join as neighbors to decide this issue. The time is now to educate ourselves about our right to prohibit pot shops.
I believe we have done the right thing in minimizing the legal and social implications of personal marijuana use. We are also allowing new advances in medicinal use to be made available.
Banning commercial pot shops preserves our identity and protects us from a myriad of consequences that come with pot tourism.