Medical Marijuana Law Delay Has Local Support
School committee and selectmen asking legislators for a delay of six months to a year.
Two Westborough boards are asking the state Legislature to delay implementing Massachusetts’ new medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation law for six months to a year.
The school committee voted Wednesday night to endorse a letter that selectmen plan to send to Westborough’s legislators.
The delay would allow the state Department of Public Health, as well as municipalities, time to prepare to handle the law, which takes effect Jan. 1, school board member Jody Hensley said.
Hensley said she received an e-mail this week from “Healthy Outcomes, which is a teen substance abuse prevention educator” suggesting that “schools need to take notice on policy, and she’s doing education on the effects on teens.”
The Massachusetts Municipal Association recently sent a letter to House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Senate President Therese Murray and Gov. Deval Patrick “recommending a delay of implementation of a minimum of six months, up to a year to allow DPH adequate time to address this,” Westborough Planning Board Chairman Lester Hensley said this past Thursday night.
The DPH has 120 days, from Jan. 1, to implement regulations, he said. Until those regulations are implemented, “your letter from your doctor is your license to grow and use,” he said.
Voters approved the new law at the Nov. 6 statewide election. Westborough residents supported the measure, Question 3 on the ballot, 5,367 to 3,347. The law allows the state Department of Public Health to authorize “no more than 35 treatment centers” in 2013, according to the ballot question.
The planning board is reviewing a draft Westborough zoning bylaw developed by Town Planner Jim Robbins at its’ request. The efforts would be in case the state Department of Public Health hasn’t implemented regulations before the law takes effect.
The planning board plans to discuss the medical marijuana law again tonight. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the Forbes Municipal Building.