SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

October 11, 2013

Salem council votes against further marijuana regulations

(Continued)

After the meeting, Dawson said she was pleased with the councilors decision.

“The vote means there is going to be an opportunity for one of the applicants to open up in the Salem,” she said. “I felt a lot of love and community that’s just what I expected from the city.”

Siegel said he asked for the order because he didn’t think current zoning addressed all the issues of a marijuana dispensary opening in the city.

“I wanted to put another level to this to make sure we meet all of the guidelines,” he said.

Beyond voting against the proposal to consider new regulations, many councilors expressed support for a dispensary being located in the city.

Paul Prevey, a federal court probation officer, said the city already has local control and restrictions in place. He spoke in favor of a dispensary coming to town saying the city can be a leader in this issue.

“We have to make a distinction between medical marijuana and drug use,” he said. “I think the Department of Public Health really got it right when it came to coming up to these guidelines ... (they) really bore down and came up with some good controls and guidelines to make sure the people that need this medicine to improve their quality of life to provide an effective treatment when all other conventional treatments have failed. I think this really is the way to go.”

George Atkins, an attorney representing Alternative Therapies Group, said there are extensive controls put in place by the state for dispensaries.

“I think your local CVS has far fewer controls than this,” he said. “I appeal to you to think about your constituents — and there are many of them — who need this drug. Putting this off by six months doesn’t make any sense because you have controls in place.”

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