Communities should ban commercial pot shops

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By Thursday, Sep 21 Letters  8 Comments

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.

Richard Squailia

West Stockbridge

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8 Comments   Add Comment

  1. William says:

    I think a commercial “pot shop” right on the N.Y. state line would be beneficial to the town, not to mention the windfall in tax monies the town could reap. Easy off and back on to RT.90, I think most of the pot tourists wouldn’t ever see downstreet West Stockbridge.

  2. Joseph Method says:

    What’s the point of legalizing something that you can’t buy anywhere legally? There are some places where maybe it won’t make sense to have a pot shop but let’s not pretend that this is anything other than NIMBY.

  3. Bob says:

    Richard Squailia just comes off here as another misinformed person, afraid of change, trying to push the reefer madness marijuana hysteria. Not only are these “pot shops” tax-producing, job-creating, aesthetically pleasing storefronts – they are selling a product that unlike alcohol (doesn’t Stockbridge have package stores?!), is not harmful. We are talking about an herbal product that helps people feel better. Its hypocritical to be complicit in alcohol being sold on our streets and be against marijuana establishments. Fortunately, I have a sense that Richard is in the minority as the polling suggests (he must not be one of the 60% that supported the ballot initiative) and that these shops will open, make a lot of money for the locales that are supporting them. There will be towns that do not immediately participate, just like in Colorado, and they will see how much revenue they are missing out on and will follow suit soon after. I would rather have a pot shop in my neighborhood than another package store. Lastly, these are well secured establishments that are nice looking aesthetically and also not obtrusive to the regular street-scapes. If you have ever been in one, they literally look like a high end Starbucks.

    1. Laura says:

      Excuse me!!!!Pot is not harmful!! apparently you have not read all the health effects Pot does to the body. Now we have to deal with these potheads getting behind the wheel of a car while high and killing someone just like a drunk driver.

      1. Bob says:

        Excuse me Laura. Actually, I am quite well informed on the subject. Yes i said that. Pot is not harmful. Marijuana is not a harmful substance. Its not riddled with carcinogens or additives like cigarettes or alcohol. Its becoming increasingly safer because of our cultures access to it. Especially with the consumption methods available these days. Vaporization, injesting through food. Marijuana is ultimately an herbal substance that if anything, makes you have more sensory appreciation. Something a lot of people could benefit from. But more importantly, we are talking about a completely untapped new business category. And of course I am not advocating for impaired driving. But the idiots that would do that are already doing that with the stuff that they buy on the black market. We are talking about these shops being in our town. I do not have a problem with them. Just like you, I have an opinion. And my opinion sits with the majority of the voters that supported this law.

  4. Annie Martin says:

    I am glad to see the push back to RIchard’s letter. Legal marijuana sales would help our town with increased sales tax and revenue to other stores and eateries as well. The jobs are needed also. Honestly this sounds like Reefer Madness. There will not be zombies of wild kids high on pot overrunning the town. The hysteria, misinformation and melodrama are part of the problem. I would hope that West Stockbridge would welcome the chance for a thriving marijuana business to add to what is already a wonderful place to live and visit.

  5. Richard says:

    Richard has stated numerous misinformed platitudes with nothing to support his suppositions !!!
    Proving once again that anybody can have an opinion but we should look for facts to backup our opinions.

  6. Ellen says:

    I am so encouraged to hear articulate, intelligent arguments for the opening of marijuana shops in West Stockbridge. I can’t think of a better town to ae the way for the future. There is a long standing tradition in this town for open mindedness, progressive thinking, embracing diversity and new opportunities. Never mind to say, the many that have enjoyed cannibas here for many years.

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