The Boston Globe reports:
US Attorney Carmen Ortiz is weighing whether to use federal law to shut down medical marijuana dispensaries, including those proposed for Boston and Brookline, if they open within 1,000 feet of schools, playgrounds, or public housing.
Under federal law, the 15 dispensaries and additional cultivation sites provisionally approved in Massachusetts could face prosecution and asset forfeiture if they open too close to a school — even if the locations would be allowed under local and state regulations. A Globe review found that at least six of the dispensaries would be within 1,000 feet of schools or playgrounds.
A critic of the Brookline dispensary has appealed to the top federal prosecutor in Massachusetts to intervene, saying it is vital to separate dispensaries from children.
“It raises important questions, and we’re going to have to take them into consideration,” Ortiz’s spokeswoman, Christina DiIorio-Sterling, said. “We are looking into it. We need to assess it and have some internal discussions, and we will have a decision soon.”
In a Nov. 7 letter to Ortiz, Elizabeth Childs, a Brookline psychiatrist and former state mental health commissioner, complained that New England Treatment Access’s proposed dispensary at 160 Washington St., in Brookline, sits within 1,000 feet of two schools, three playgrounds, and a public housing development.
Patients have been waiting two years for medical marijuana dispensaries to open in Massachusetts. It would be appalling if Carmen Ortiz decides to delay them even longer because of whining from NIMBY, "think of the children!" types.
The idea that there is some danger in putting dispensaries near schools is completely absurd. There's a CVS pharmacy located less than a five minute walk from the elementary school I attended. That CVS dispenses cold medicines, painkillers, and stimulants that are far more dangerous than marijuana, a drug that has never caused a documented fatal overdose. Walk a few more minutes and you'll get to a package store. If having a place that dispenses drugs near a school is so dangerous, will these places be shut down too? Of course not, because they're dispensing politically correct drugs.
At a rally I attended outside the Department of Public Health last month, two mothers talked about how they needed access to marijuana to treat their young daughters' seizures. If people really care about children, they should want these dispensaries to move forward, not be delayed again for who knows how long.
Watch video from that rally here: