The following letter was submitted to the Boston City Council regarding cannabis licensing.
To: The Boston City Council Committee on Jobs, Wages & Workforce Development
Hearing on Marijuana/Cannabis Market Equity
The goal of the Massachusetts Tax and Regulate Marijuana Act has always been to create a healthy and dynamic legal market for cannabis. This is necessary to stop minors from continued access to marijuana/cannabis. Our previous prohibitionist and interventionist solutions for local cannabis distribution have been complete failures particularly in their inability to keep cannabis from minors, and encourage equal market access. We have adopted this new law to make sure that just like alcohol and tobacco, cannabis remains a product strictly for adults. (18+)
This city council has already adopted measures to undermine the Tax and Regulate Marijuana Act, through the inclusion of a text amendment to Boston’s zoning code, which will arrest and greatly diminish the growth of the legal cannabis industry in Boston. The 2500 ft. buffer was prematurely applied to this fledgling industry, and added on to the already extremely restrictive 1000 ft. buffer that is already imposed on local cannabis businesses, to stay away from schools, nurseries, parks, playgrounds, churches, and numerous other entities. Were the possible effects of such a dramatically market-altering regulatory change, and its resulting effect on consumers and the industry considered at all?
It is clear, that this council is trying to slow and retard the growth of the legal cannabis industry in Boston. This directly conflicts with the newly approved law to Tax and Regulate Marijuana, which is designed to encourage the growth of the legal market. This need, of growing a healthy open market, is necessary to deny minors access, and discourage the effects of white supremacy on new market participants. The Boston City Council’s adoption of the 2500 ft buffer rule to the zoning code will increase the availability of marijuana products to minors by severely weakening and delaying the creation of a holistic legal cannabis market for adults.
This should have been very clear to anyone that read the Tax and Regulate Marijuana Act.
What also would have been clear is that there is an appointed body that is already tasked with studying, reviewing, and making these types of suggestions and amendments to cannabis related regulations and regulatory bodies. The Cannabis Commission and its 15-member advisory board will be the qualified and knowledgeable group, empowered by law, and capable of making effective regulations that won’t undermine the law and all participants. The Boston City Council’s premature motivations to limit legal adult access to cannabis in Boston encourages criminality and under-age marijuana use, which is exactly what the new law is trying to combat.
Negative attitudes about cannabis, often misinformed due to decades of immoral government propaganda, cannot be allowed to once again, set up a hostile system of ignorance and discrimination, to regulate cannabis locally. We should all be able to agree that alcohol is much more dangerous than cannabis to residents in public and private spaces. How, or why then, does this council continually try to increase the number and availability of liquor licenses in Boston? While at the same time trying to drastically limit cannabis licenses in Boston?
Obviously, a bias against cannabis and its consumers.
This bias is multifaceted but largely based in the immorality of historic American cannabis prohibition, birthed and maintained from an American cultural history of white supremacy, and simple ignorance.
I addressed this body previously about the fact that many of our constitutional rights have been routinely violated due to this racism and ignorance, as cannabis is an original Christian/religious sacrament, used from the beginning of recorded history to reveal knowledge and life’s mysteries, commune with God, and the Divine Spark within us all.
We citizens have been denied our right to practice religion, without the constant fear of abuse and molestation due to this same ignorance and racism. When we express this fact, we are often treated with more disrespect and hostility. So, we have come to accept, that we consumers alone must educate our communities about cannabis.
Long before ANY prescription drugs were to be found in ANY medicine cabinet, cannabis had already been used for thousands of years in both religious and medical context. And yes, cannabis was a staple of American medicine cabinets until racism and ignorance allowed for its prohibition (Marihuana Tax Act of 1937). Unfortunately, members of this council have been recorded publicly speaking dismissively about cannabis as a medicine, and therefore denying its long-accepted history of medical use. This indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of cannabis and its related use through all recorded history.
When we hear, our elected officials speak, and they are misinformed on an issue it negatively effects our confidence in, and the credibility of, said politician on that issue.
Cannabis and its increased use was largely responsible for the peace and love sentiments of the 60s generation, and the resulting increase of human rights awareness of that era. What is it about peace, love, and getting along, that makes some people so reactionary?
US Government studies confirm that cannabis use promotes the feelings of peace and love, and encourages social harmony and understanding. We know that some politicians would rather have a less informed, vulnerable, divided, and less educated populace, to get more votes and mislead people towards their harmful policies of greed and deceit designed to serve the few over the many. Those that represent such views should be forced to concede that ignorant and or racist attitudes and ideas from either our current culture or our immoral prohibition era are harmful to the physical, economic, social, mental, and spiritual health of our large and dynamic multicultural community.
I humbly request…
on behalf of so many medical, spiritual, and otherwise oriented legal cannabis consumers, and the numerous organizations and entrepreneurial groups and individuals that wish to responsibly participate in the new cannabis market, to provide much needed services and products to adults in this city… please respect the will of voters and stop hurting our community.
Statements made by several councilors, relaying the concerns of a few local business owners or residents, saying that citizens need protection from this industry and it’s consumers, are not based in fact, but fear. Media and government lies have informed such persons and unfortunately, infected them with a dogma of oppression.
Alcohol! I say again, Alcohol is universally recognized as much more dangerous than cannabis, despite the conflicting and tired lies of Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump and many others. This is not opinion. The dangerousness of alcohol over cannabis is a fact! Yet, this council continues to support the exponentially more dangerous, and unsafe alcohol industry, over the, comparatively minuscule, relatively harmless, local Cannabis industry, at its infancy.
Alcohol is responsible for how many untold sexual assaults in this city?
How many miserable drunk driving deaths? How much domestic violence? How much is alcohol responsible for costly law enforcement services, and the cost to our tax base? our quality of life and safety? Where is the concern from this council regarding the staggering numbers of alcohol related crimes, assaults, and deaths on our roads, businesses, and homes? Why has this council not applied strict buffer rules to such establishments given the overwhelming evidence that such places are a serious public health concern. It’s not uncommon to see all types of these businesses located in close proximity of each other, here in Boston.
If this council continues to behave in such a hypocritical and irrationally hostile way towards this young legal industry, it will insure that the illicit market in Boston for cannabis, stays illicit, and minors will continue to have easy access to stronger and stronger cannabis products.
We residents and professionals refuse to participate in another morally corrupt system of oppression. The law was changed to fix these problems and the city of Boston has already seen fit to negate the will of the voters on this issue due to what appears to be simple ignorance and or bias regarding cannabis and its consumers.
It does not matter how many business owners and residents complain about the imagined and fantastic dangers of dry cleaning stores, nail shops, liquor stores, or Chinese food restaurants. City government would be under no obligation to entertain such personally biased concerns to the point of restrictions (especially unprecedented ones!) on said industries. Such concerns are individual biases and do not merit official attention, because these concerns are a result of subjective individual experience and are not based in facts. Personal biases are subject to racism and other extremely poor reasons to modify policy.
We must be fair, honest, and deal in facts, all the time respecting consumers and industry leaders. Hostile, kneejerk, or emotional reactions by misinformed politicians and residents based on the endless lies of immoral actors, the greedy and the dishonest, will continue to preserve the unhealthiest and least safe aspects of the emerging cannabis culture and market in Boston.
There is no evidence that this 2500 ft. or any other buffer is an effective measure for creating equality in the new industry. There is no evidence that this or any other buffer, will increase safety or the welfare of anyone. There is no evidence that this or any other buffer, is good for Boston’s cannabis industry or residents. There is no evidence that this or any other buffer, will be at all effective at doing anything but decreasing legal access and supporting crime, through the increased under-age use of marijuana.
I humbly request that this council reverse the discriminatory and unprecedented 2500ft buffer rule applied to cannabis establishments in Boston, and allow the Cannabis Commission to do its job. This was an attack on a new industry and directly conflicts with the will of the voters. The support to apply this buffer rule would have never existed after the creation of a legal local industry.
This council’s premature adoption of the text amendment to restrict all cannabis establishments that are not already prohibited due to the 1000 ft. buffer already in place, to roughly one half-mile apart and away from any other cannabis related establishment, before the community had a chance to weigh in, stinks of bias, and in appearance is no different than corruption, because it clearly favors anti-cannabis proponents, and the new legal cannabis community had no opportunity to be heard.
We want a clean industry and do not want to repeat the historic corruption and lasting economic pain of our alcohol licensing process.
of Mass Bay Cannabis and BostonCannabis.Info
Patient, Caregiver, Consultant, Religious Cannabis Consumer and Advocate