Picture this – you are a sufferer of cancer and one of the few drugs that helps relieve your symptoms is medical marijuana, but it isn’t legal so you aren’t able to purchase from somewhere like a potential Massachusetts medical marijuana dispensary. But wait, the voters of your state vote to PASS medical marijuana, so now at least the drug itself becomes legal, break through right? Well not if you live in Wakefield, MA and answer to the ignorance and regime of Police chief Richard Smith.
Smith stood on a podium after medical marijuana passed, and voiced his concerns as to why Massachusetts medical marijuana dispensaries in the town of Wakefield would be a bad idea. Voters then passed a by law by a vote of 143-9 that will ensure medical marijuana dispensaries will not be allowed to open in the city of Wakefield. Smith said:
“Although I have deep compassion for those that are ill and infirm, I also feel that allowing a compassion center is not a fit for the town of Wakefield,”
Not fit for the town of Wakefield? Often we see the legislators and law makers defend their ignorance of the importance, and benefits of medical marijuana with statements like this. You have deep compassion for those that are ill and infirm in your own town, and now that a law has passed for a medicinal drug that will help them you are not going to allow the medical marijuana dispensaries that would allow your residents to get the drug they need?
It is often this type of ignorant ideal that causes misinformation and misconception. In 1970, the federal government labeled marijuana as more harmful than cocaine and methamphetamine, we now know that isn’t true. The chief sites the town’s problem with drinking and driving and automatically assumes that allowing patients with significant medical needs, access to a natural medicine with proven effects would automatically increase the town’s criminal problems? Massachusetts medical marijuana dispensaries will be tightly regulated and limited to those patients with true need.
An additional note of interest is the fact that townspeople spoke of the fact that The town’s medical marijuana bylaw was motivated in part by the anticipation that would voters would approve Question 3. A couple of residents pointed out that Wakefield voters had just approved Question 3 themselves the previous week in the general election. A couple of parents and at least one local business owner spoke in support of the by-law. It is clear that there is a significant difference in the voice of one and the feelings of many. This zoning bylaw applies only to commercial dispensaries, not the ability for patients to cultivate their own for private use. It is fair to say, the town has not heard the last of approval of Massachusetts Medical Marijuana dispensaries and Wakefield very well could revisit Medical Marijuana on the ballot again.