During a Woburn city council meeting on February 19th, officials passed a temporary moratorium by a vote of 6 to 2. The moratorium will give city officials more time to determine if they want to allow Massachusetts medical marijuana dispensaries to open in their city.
Voters approved Massachusetts medical marijuana dispensaries and the use of medical marijuana in the November election.
The ballot question narrowly passed in Woburn by receiving 55% of the votes. Massachusetts joins the ranks of 17 other states that have also legalized the drug for medical purposes. Colorado and Washington are currently the only two states that have legalized adult use, or as it is often referred to as, recreational use marijuana.
Woburn medical marijuana dispensary moratorium set to last for 1 year.
The one year moratorium which began January 1, 2013 will allow city officials additional time to give thought to the complexities surrounding the legalization of medical marijuana. Considerations will be now be given to topics such as enacting zoning bylaws that will dictate where the dispensaries will be able to operate. Additionally the city must keep in mind safety measures that will need to be developed in order to protect children from increased exposure to the drug once the medical marijuana dispensaries start to crop up.
The temporary moratorium also allows officials to sit back and observe how neighboring cities across the state approach the issue. While some towns are taking a proactive approach to the legalization and plan on supporting dispensaries, others are working hard to keep the clinics out of their cities completely.