Interesting juxtaposition of pieces in Monday’s Eagle. A letter to the editor supports Mayor Bianchi’s efforts to quickly develop a plan to deal with zoning and siting issues for a medical marijuana clinic in Pittsfield. The letter writer, Gary Van Bramer, says "the mayor shows compassion for people who could be helped and this needs to be done as soon as possible." Mr. Van Bramer says he has multiple sclerosis and apparently has found, like many others, that the cannabis herb is an effective treatment for some symptoms of his serious illness.
At the top of the local section of the paper, an article on medical marijuana says two South County towns are already trying to delay the opening of any local cannabis clinics by establishing moratoriums while they work on siting and zoning regulations. In Sheffield they want to delay any openings "for about a year," and Egremont officials are talking about stalling through October of 2014!
Wake up folks. The citizens of Berkshire County voted for the medical marijuana ballot initiative by nearly two to one. We have voted that medical marijuana should be available to people with mental and physical illnesses it appears to be a good remedy for. We voted to facilitate its legal availability as soon as possible, not months and years from now. Doctors need to be able to start prescribing herbal cannabis to patients it helps.
Instead of fighting their establishment, towns should be eager to provide these compassionate services and be glad to see the increased local business traffic and tax revenues these new treatment centers will produce.
I, like the brave letter writer, Gary Van Bramer, "hope people with other diseases will write and offer their feelings on this."