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Becket selectmen should reconsider rejection of medical marijuana facility

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By Friday, Aug 26, 2016 Letters 3

To the Editor:

I have sent the following letter to the Becket Board of Selectmen: 

I’m writing in regard to the discussion at the Becket Selectmen’s meeting of August 24, regarding Ipswich Pharmaceuticals President Joseph McCarthy’s proposal to purchase property on Yokum Pond Road for the purpose of building a medical marijuana farm. I was present at the meeting and, while I agree with the objections voiced by nearby homeowners, I would like to emphasize another facet that I think is important.

Becket is declining not only in population but in its attractiveness to young, working families. Jobs are scarce and our excellent school is in danger of being closed because of decreasing enrollment. While some attention is being directed to this situation, such as strong lobbying for better Internet access, we need to look closely at any opportunity for improvement. Mr. McCarthy’s proposal, which offers the strong possibility of 10-15 jobs and tens of thousands of dollars of annual payment to the town, represents a small but significant step forward and against our decline.

Therefore, I urge the selectmen to take steps to keep the conversation going with Mr. McCarthy. Perhaps a suitably sized and priced piece of property can be found that is located in a less residential, more business-friendly part of town. Perhaps other aspects of the potential agreement between Ipswich Pharmaceuticals and the town can be adjusted to make Becket more attractive to the company. By holding further discussions and, if you see fit, soliciting participation of interested townspeople with pertinent expertise, we will thoroughly explore what appears to be a very good opportunity and gain valuable experience in the process of examining future ones.

Douglas Brand


3 Comments   Add Comment

  1. Arthur Dellea says:

    So a medical marijuana facility is the only way to help a declining population and decreasing school enrollment? Don’t you think that justifying a marijuana facility to attract youth and support schools is at least a tad morally ironic? Our local schools are already suffering from heavy illegal drug influences, so much so that even “name-associating” drugs as a way to support our school systems in your letter is asking for trouble!

    I’m sure the town could work much harder at attracting “less controversial” manufacturing facilities to provide more jobs and promote growth, but the problem is that most local towns see tourism promotion as easy money and the “lazy way out”… they don’t have to work nearly as hard to promote “come to the Berkshires” campaigns.

    We all need to change the mentality of our local communities; we all need to promote “shopping local, buying local, making and manufacturing local, and farming local”… and we need to let tourism take care of itself! Our area is already over-advertised in the tourist industry; the reason for the lack of local business growth and declining population is due entirely to the massive over-focus on tourism and it’s destroyed our local economy.

  2. Dan Parnell says:

    I agree with Douglas Brand. I am glad he wrote the letter. I was also at the meeting with Ipswich Pharmaceutical Associates. I believe this is a business that can work in the town and there are areas away from heavy residential populations and close to main thoroughfares where it can be placed. There is work on both sides, IPA and the Town of Becket, to make this work.

    1. Inthewoods says:

      I also agree with Douglas. This is a great opportunity for the town. I will be writing a letter to the selectboard to let them know how disappointed I am in how they voted . They need to hear from more residents not just the second homeowners. I encourage more residents who are in support to also write letters to the selectboard. I beleive Ipswitch will be back and they will come up with a more suitable location and I will continue to support them.

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