Our Opinion: Backing and opposing medical marijuana clinics

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The company seeking to put a medical marijuana facility in Becket will evidently drop the proposal in the face of considerable opposition. That opposition defines NIMBYism.

Joseph McCarthy, the president of Ipswich Pharmaceuticals, indicated his company would not force the issue after residents overwhelmingly denounced the project at a public hearing on Wednesday. (Eagle, August 26). Residents expressed concern about light pollution, the industrial nature of the project proposed for Yokum Pond Road, and the threat it may have posed to the peace and quiet that characterizes Becket.

In 2012, however, Becket voted overwhelmingly in favor of providing access to medical marijuana in the state. Lee voters also supported medical marijuana in Massachusetts and four years later residents are opposing a medical marijuana facility in their town. Both towns like the idea of medical marijuana as long as facilities are not located in their back yard,

An advocate of the project, which would provide some jobs and tax revenue, asserted to The Eagle that 80 to 90 percent of those in opposition were second-home owners. That percentage may or may not be accurate but it is irrelevant. Year-round residents of some Berkshire towns occasionally express or imply unhappiness with part-time residents and their perceived special interests, but second-home owners contribute to the economic welfare of these towns and should have a voice.

As for medical marijuana, the concept draws more support than the reality in some communities. The facilities are legal, however, because voters made them so.


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