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Council President Wants to Prevent Medical Marijuana Dispensaries from Opening in Watertown

Mark Sideris said he plans to pursue ways to stop a distribution facility opening in town following the passage of Question 3 on Nov. 6.

The idea of a medical marijuana dispensary coming to Watertown is not somethings Town Council President Mark Sideris wants to see, and he plans to seek a way to prevent that from happening at a future Town Council meeting.

On Nov. 6, Massachusetts voters approved Question 9, the ballot question allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes as prescribed by a doctor, by a 63 to 37 percent margin. With the approval comes the creation of marijuana dispensaries—"non-profit treatment centers that will grow, process and provide marijuana to patients or their caregivers," according to the Secretary of State.

Cities and towns are left to set regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries. Sideris said he has concerns.

"I'd be opposed to any marijuana distribution facility in Watertown," Sideris said. "I'm from the old school."

There are already state regulations built into Question 3, which require the dispensaries to apply and pay for a Department of Public Health registration, as well as submit operating procedures, including the mandatory storage of marijuana in locked facilities.

Communities will also need to set local regulations for dispensaries.

Sideris said he is not sure how far town officials can go to prevent a dispensary from opening in Watertown. He plans to consult with Town Attorney Mark Reich to see what steps can be taken, and to talk to Police Chief Edward Deveau about what concerns the Police Department may have about having a marijuana dispensary in town.

In general, Sideris said he has mixed feelings about how to handle the marijuana issue.

"I am torn between making it legal, and tax it and make revenue off it, and on the other hand, are we opening up a problem like drinking and driving, but with smoking and driving," Sideris said.

While the question makes marijuana legal only for medical use, Sideris said he worries that others will also find a way to take advantage of the system. 

"It is making it more easily accessible for others for non-medical use," Sideris said. 

Gustavo Picciuto November 19, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Didn't they already say what they want when they voted??? Or do you think that everyone who voted for this law is stupid enough that they don't know that a dispensary will be coming to their town if they vote yes?? The people have voted and said what they want already, why can't people respect that and just follow the will of the people. Have some courage towards progress and follow the will of the people. This is why we don't have any faith in the people who lead us; because regardless of what the people want they will always follow their own agenda.
Gary M November 20, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Charlie, Click on pro-marijuana dispensary comments names - Knowa, Jillian, Julie, Gustavo, Paul, Joey - they aren't from Watertown - you'll find them all registered in Calif, NJ, NC, etc.. They are spamming all the local Mass sites. All their comments are related to this same topic. That said, I think you'll find alot of people now wishing they hadn't voted for this bill if they had realized a dispensary was coming to town.
FlyingTooLow November 20, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Paul Hurteau.... A million thanks...so very happy to hear you enjoyed the book. I hope you visit my blog...I respond to any and all comments. It would be great to meet you, too. You can never have too many friends. Again, thank you, Paul Hurteau.... Hugh Yonn
danielle November 21, 2012 at 07:45 AM
First people already drive and smoke, that isn't going to increase more people now may get caught. The medical law that was approved states that there is only 35 allowed and only so many per county. If there isn't a dispenserary in Watertown it won't stop patients from getting there prescription filled. The people voted for this!
Jim Sullivan November 27, 2012 at 04:53 PM
The majority were for the law. It's public record. Look it up.

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