Warnings in Wayland about recreational marijuana
A panel of town officials and doctors delivered a message to Wayland residents – recreational marijuana is not a good fit for the town.
WAYLAND – Panelists at a community forum Tuesday night said allowing recreational marijuana businesses in town will create a variety of different headaches.
Health problems, especially for adolescents, and increased risk of fatal car accidents were some of the warnings given by a panel of town officials and doctors at the Town Building.
Wayland voted by a razor-thin margin to legalize recreational marijuana in Massachusetts. The November 2016 vote was 4,268-4,189 in support of ballot Question 4. The measure passed statewide.
Now, Wayland is trying to figure out if retail pot is a good fit for the town.
Voters established a moratorium at fall Town Meeting that expires at the end of this year. The measure gives the town time to develop regulations on pot sales.
State law says a town that supported Question 4 can opt out of retail marijuana by taking two steps – a vote at Town Meeting and another at the ballot box.
The point of Tuesday night’s forum was to get resident feedback.
Wayland has three choices, selectmen Chairwoman Lea Anderson said.
Anderson moderated the forum, and said Wayland could do nothing, and expect the possibility a retail pot business could come to town. It could enact a full ban, which requires a majority vote at the polls and a two-thirds majority vote at Town Meeting. The final option is a partial ban, where Wayland could allow some retail establishments, like growing or cultivation facilities, while banning others, like retail shops. That option requires a two-thirds majority vote at Town Meeting.
Police Chief Patrick Swanick, a panelist, told a story that brought the marijuana problem close to home.
He said firefighters