Guest Column: Marijuana Sales in Canton

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I am your neighbor. I am middle-aged, white, educated, articulate. I own a home, pay taxes, and even license my dog. I work a full-time job that I’ve had for 17 years. I haven’t had a traffic ticket in over 20 years — not even a parking ticket. My FICO score is in the top tier. I recycle. I don’t drink, or smoke. I don’t even play loud music.

I sound like an ideal neighbor, right?

Would you be shocked to learn that not only do I have a medical marijuana card, but I have been discretely (and legally) growing marijuana in my home?

Judging from the many posts I have seen on social media, it seems that the well-meaning people of Canton would like to see people like me sent off to any town besides Canton to purchase medical marijuana. I can’t imagine what you think is going to happen should a dispensary ever open in Canton. Who do you think is buying legal marijuana? It’s people just like me. I am just like you.

The government has decided that in order to protect us from ourselves (which a large faction of Massachusetts voters seems to believe is the job of the government), people like me, with chronic pain, can no longer get a pain medication refill without going to the doctor and physically picking up a prescription. This costs me $185 every time because of co-payments and my deductible. I have never abused pain meds. I have never sold them. I have never done a single thing wrong with pain meds. But because someone in the State House decided opioid addiction is suddenly a massive problem, I have to pay $185 for every refill (that doesn’t include the cost of the actual meds).

I decided to try medical marijuana. And it helps. But you don’t want me to have ready access to that either. Are you afraid people are going to go to the trouble of obtaining legal access to it, and then sell it on the street? Do you imagine everyone using medical marijuana is a machete-wielding lunatic? I challenge you to go to the dispensary in Brockton and just watch the parking lot for an hour. You will see lots of people just like me. Not raving lunatics. Not stoned-out teenagers. Responsible adults with legitimate need for some kind of relief.

We let people drink all the booze they want. They can buy it nearly anywhere. We let people smoke cigarettes and pollute every single outdoor space in our town with their filthy discarded butts. But medical marijuana? No. Not in our precious Canton. No way, no how.

Seriously?

Trust me when I tell you, if your children want to smoke pot, they’re going to smoke pot. My brothers and I found ways in the 70s. Yes, three prep school kids from Dover figured out how to get pot. It wasn’t even difficult. No one can even go inside a dispensary without a picture ID card and their marijuana card. Not even to look. Banning marijuana sale from Canton will stop absolutely nothing.

What exactly do you think will happen if a dispensary opens up? Do you envision non-stop clouds of pungent pot smoke wafting over Canton, poisoning your darling children? Hordes of people flocking in from unsavory places?

When I see the comments that border on hysteria on the internet from Canton residents, I have to shake my head and wonder — why is it okay to get drunk at a softball game at a public park, but it’s not okay to purchase medical marijuana and discretely use it in your own home? Why are you okay with cigarettes (that have no purpose other than to feed the nicotine addicts’ need) being available pretty much everywhere you go, and liquor stores all over town, but the mere suggestion of a marijuana dispensary drives you to foam at the mouth?

We walk among you. We are good citizens with a need that is solved by an herb that has been around for longer than any of us. There has never been a death from a marijuana overdose. Responsible users are not driving down the road toking on a joint. Do not let your fears create laws banning a potential new revenue source from our town. And do not drive people like me away to spend our dollars elsewhere. A dispensary is just a store front. You cannot even tell what it is from the outside. You cannot enter without a card. People go in, get what they need, and leave. Just like any other store. It is difficult enough to live and work with chronic pain. Perhaps you’d prefer people like me just give up and go on disability. All the signs popping up about hate having no place in Canton. I see a whole lot of hypocrisy in Canton. A whole lot of “not in my back yard.” If you’re going to keep voting for people who think they have a right to be in my medicine cabinet, stop throwing up roadblocks to alternative treatments. Please.

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avatar Posted by on Aug 11 2017. Filed under Featured Content, Opinion. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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