OP-ED: Councilor Grove Proposes Framingham Ballot Question on Recreational Marijuana

FRAMINGHAM – “I voted to legalize marijuana in Massachusetts for social justice reasons.  I did not vote to make Framingham its Metrowest Hub.  It’s time for the new Mayor and the City Council to stand up for Framingham and vote for local control to decide what Framingham should look like”.

This is one of many comments I have received from my constituents.

On the other side I hear “The majority voted for marijuana.  It is the will of the people.”

The 2016 Ballot Question 4 was more complicated than the legalization of marijuana.  It also included the right for each municipality to decide how they would regulate marijuana.  If Framingham does nothing marijuana will not be limited and we will be required to allow at least 20 percent of our liquor licenses – six retail shops or more.

The 9-member Marijuana Task Force voted 7 “Yes” and  2 “No” to recommend six recreational businesses.

The “No” votes came from a City Councilor and Framingham’s Health Director who gave explicit medical reasons for his vote.

One member of the Task Force said “Six is the magic number.”  He went on to say that he preferred five, but this would require a ballot question and the public knows less that the Marijuana Task Force so why would the Task Force want the public to vote?

A good reason for the public to be given the right to vote is the fact that we live in a democracy and we voted for this right.

In order to limit the number of retail (adult-use) recreational businesses to fewer than six, or less than the number of approved medical establishments, a ballot question must be submitted either by the City Council or by a petition of the people to the City for inclusion of a ballot on a special or regular election.

Medical marijuana establishments would not be limited by such a ballot question.

As the City Councilor for District 8, I support the Democratic right of the residents of Framingham to have the option to vote via a ballot question on this crucial issue which will affect the future of our new City for generations to come.  I urge residents to make their voices heard about the implementation of statewide marijuana laws in our community.

Sincerely,

Judith Grove

Framingham City Councilor District 8

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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