Some people who hold medical marijuana cards have been getting home deliveries of pot for several years without any reported problems. But those deliveries involve known parties at both ends – the medical marijuana company knows the patient, whose medicinal pot prescription information is already in the company’s database, much like a regular pharmacy, and patients are often repeat customers.
But the latest proposal by the state Cannabis Control Commission that would allow companies to deliver recreational pot to customers brings up a host of unknowns, much like a pizza delivery person racing off to deliver a pie to a customer who had phoned in the order. The proposal, which is still open for public input, would also mandate recreational pot delivery men and women wear body cameras to record images of customers, presumably for the delivery person’s safety. But privacy advocates are protesting, noting that marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, so videotaping every transaction means those images could be available to federal authorities. It’s likely all retail pot stores in Massachusetts have extensive video surveillance inside and outside stores, so similar photos exist no matter where or how you buy legal pot.
We think the debate over body cams for home delivery is missing the bigger picture. Why is the commission backing a proposal to allow home delivery of recreational pot? Massachusetts permits home delivery of alcohol – allowing someone to order a bottle of wine or six-pack with their pizza, for example -- so convenient purchases of recreational pot might make sense at some point. But as more retail marijuana shops open in the state, making access for pot shoppers easier, regulators might be wise to let that process roll out for a year or two before moving toward home delivery.
In spite of the growth of the legal pot industry marijuana is still a profitable item in the illicit drug trade. Allowing more drivers to deliver more pot only opens up a chance for robberies, or worse, putting delivery people at risk. Pizza delivery people get robbed and shot, so wouldn’t increasing the number of home pot deliveries by opening the market to recreational pot outlets create even more valuable targets for criminals? That’s a question that needs study and serious debate.