By Meredith McCulloch
When the Selectmen held a marijuana sales hearing in the multi-purpose room October 2, a line formed at the microphone as multiple citizens rose to express their concerns. The hearing concerned a bylaw change that would allow the sale of marijuana in town.
Following the approval of marijuana sales on a state ballot initiative in November 2016, the legislature provided that towns in which a majority of voters had voted “no” could choose an option to prohibit sales in their community.
Many speakers feared risks to children. They said easier accessibility would mean more high school students could get access to the drug by asking others to purchase it for them. Others feared that delivery systems such as candy and brownies, which would appear to be a familiar treat, could be consumed by young children. Several speakers felt marijuana shops would run counter to Bedford’s reputation as a “family friendly town.”
One citizen took an opposing position, spelling out the benefits of being able to control the sale of marijuana sales by bringing it out of the black market. Regulations could limit the type and potency of the drug and move it away from criminal activity.
Three articles will appear on the warrant for Special Town Meeting on November 6. The Selectmen voted Monday night to include all three articles for the voters’ consideration. For a description of the articles, see a previous Citizen article: https://thebedfordcitizen.org/2017/09/selectmen-review-non-medical-marijuana-option-planning-board-finance-committee-already-weighed/