Put another marijuana ballot question to West Springfield voters: Mayor William Reichelt
WEST SPRINGFIELD — Anticipating defeat at Monday’s Town Council meeting, Mayor William C. Reichelt Friday discussed what he feels can help him on the recreational marijuana issue — voters.
“It’s not the ‘devil’s lettuce.’ I think the vote would be different,” Reichelt said in his Town Hall office.
Reichelt wants the Town Council to place another ballot question before voters asking whether they want to permit or still ban sales of recreational marijuana here, a step based on two keys, he said.
Attitudes about recreational marijuana have changed and some of the stigma about pot has weakened since voters here rejected a 2016 statewide ballot question to legalize pot for recreational purposes, he said.
And the reality is that the majority of Massachusetts voters opted differently than those here. That means Massachusetts legalized recreational marijuana in 2016 and sparked a whirl of prospective new businesses promising jobs and revenue in the communities surrounding this one, he said.
The point is that marijuana for recreational purposes is legal in Massachusetts, regardless of how the town voted in 2016, so why not lift the ban here and seize the benefits, he said.
The Town Council has scheduled a special meeting for 6 p.m. Monday at Town Hall with the single agenda item of voting whether to override a veto that Reichelt issued June 27. That veto rejected the Council’s 8-1 vote of June 4 that banned commercial marijuana here.
A two-thirds majority of the nine-member council, or six votes, is needed to override a mayoral veto.
“I would prefer that they don’t override, yeah, but they have 30 days to override, then my veto stands,” Reichelt said.
If the Town Council were to vote to place a “permit it or ban it” question to voters, it would have to be nonbinding, under state