, Salem, MA

Local News

February 4, 2014

Town Meeting OKs medical pot zoning


“It doesn’t have poison in it like the marijuana that is sold on the street. If this can help someone, I am for it,” Nicholson said.

Others like Town Meeting member Tenley Bevins, a nurse, spoke about being torn as marijuana is both harmful and helpful. Town Meeting member Mike Hagan, a Danvers police officer, wanted to know how much pot a dispensary might store, its security and crime statistics about them.

While not speaking for the police, Hagan said: “I know the Danvers Police Department is stretched to the max already for calls for services.”

Town Counsel David DeLuca ruled Hagan’s line of questioning beyond the scope of the article, with the answers best coming from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The motion passed by a two-thirds vote.

Zuberek’s motion for “no action” failed.

Town Meeting also approved a new regulation for those granted permission to grow medical marijuana due to a hardship to register both with the police and the Board of Health.

Selectmen Chairman Gardner Trask spoke out in favor of the town asking state lawmakers to approve six additional liquor licenses after Zuberek questioned a lack of a plan on how they should be used.

“Doesn’t this really dilute the value of the existing merchants who are already operating in town,” Zuberek said.

Trask said the licenses are being sought as an economic development tool, and that holders of them cannot transfer them for three years after getting them.

Selectman David Mills said he was moved to favor more licenses when a family that runs a Chinese restaurant applied for and was denied a license because there were none available. Meanwhile, large chain restaurants can pay the market rate for a liquor license. He called the expansion of the number of licenses “a simple matter of fairness and justice.”

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