Reefer madness in Warren

Posted 5/2/18

Here is what won’t happen when commercial medical marijuana growing operations open up in town under a newly-minted ordinance approved last week by the Warren Town Council (story, page 1):

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Reefer madness in Warren

Posted

Here is what won’t happen when commercial medical marijuana growing operations open up in town under a newly-minted ordinance approved last week by the Warren Town Council (story, page 1):

• No marijuana will be sold to the public out of these facilities. In fact, no medical marijuana will be sold anywhere in Warren, period.

• These facilities will not be blights or neighborhood eyesores, mostly because they’ll be all but invisible — the extensive regulation required of growers under the town’s new ordinance makes sure of that. There won’t be smell, there won’t be noise and there won’t be people coming and going at all hours.

• It won’t be “party time” in Warren, as one resident warned, and the growers won’t open the “Gateway to Hell,” as another told the council before last Thursday’s vote.

Here is what will happen:

• Life will go on, likely with little or no perception by the general public that anything has changed in Warren.

n Increased supply of medical marijuana might make it more affordable for the thousands of users in Rhode Island who have been prescribed the drug by their physicians.

• Some opponents will continue to target medical marijuana as a gateway drug that will ruin lives and destroy Warren’s reputation, as those opposed to the ordinance’s passage warned last week.

Unfortunately, that fear mongering was in full force last week. Instead of having a frank and honest discussion about medical marijuana, how it will be regulated here, and how that regulation will benefit the town, council members spent a good majority of their meeting defending themselves, modern medical science and the law, from those opposed to marijuana in any form — medical or not.

Here is what councilors tried to keep at the forefront amidst the ‘Just Say No’ rhetoric: Medical marijuana may or may not have merit, but its acceptance by the medical community is currently the law of the land here in Rhode Island. Patients deserve to have affordable access. And the town’s action, based on state law and passed with promises of diligent enforcement, attempts to help those patients who are dealing with very real diseases and chronic pain.

If the law backfires, it can always be revisited. Until then, back off the rhetoric and wait and see.

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