Mashpee Selectmen Put Non-Binding Marijuana Ballot To Voters
The Mashpee Board of Selectmen agreed Monday night, March 26, to put a ballot question to voters in May asking whether or not they want recreational marijuana stores in town.
The question would appear as a non-binding vote and would have no legal standing, but selectmen voted 4 to 1 to put the question to voters as a kind of survey.
Selectmen agreed to proposed wording from the town’s legal counsel that reads as a yes or no question. “Should licensed non-medical recreational marijuana establishments be prohibited in the Town of Mashpee?” the question reads.
Andrew R. Gottlieb, the only negative vote on Monday, said the ballot measure was a waste of time because Town Meeting has the final say in restricting dispensaries rather than a ballot measure.
But the four other selectmen argued that they were unsure how their constituents felt about the issue since laws at the state level have been clarified, and they wanted to know.
While dispensaries could open as early as this summer in Massachusetts, Mashpee currently has a moratorium in effect on such openings through to the end of the year.
When Massachusetts voters passed the ballot measure legalizing recreational marijuana in 2016, Mashpee residents cast 4,126 votes in favor of the measure and 4,749 against. Based on language from the state ballot, Town Meeting sets the regulations and zoning within town boundaries based on Mashpee’s majority of nay voters.
So, at October Town Meeting, the town agreed to a one-year moratorium on allowing recreational dispensaries in town. The moratorium will run through December 31. On that article, 219 voted in favor of supporting the moratorium while 95 opposed.
Selectmen will likely put some kind of option