Sensi Magazine September 2018 - Boston Digital Edition
Aug 31, 2018 05:15AM
● By Amber Orvik
DEFEATING THE PIGEONS
I tend to push writing this editor’s note off until the eleventh hour each issue. I get no sadistic glee from each cascading email inquiring on the ETA of the tome. When the sheer rate of change and breaking news in the Mass Grass Scene is one set to ludicrous speed, it’s important to have as much information before commenting on the state of cannabis in the Bay State.
For the resident prohibitionist extraordinaires at the Boston Herald, the speed of this industry moving ahead is and has been too much, too fast. A typical hair-on-fire rant about legal weed with the headline “Legalizing Pot Is A Catastrophic Call” ran in late August; an opinion piece so ridiculous I won’t even tell you who wrote it (but I’m guessing longtime media hounds will have no problem figuring it out). It basically asserted that stoned drivers are going to be mowing down schoolchildren and the state is powerless to prevent it because we shouldn’t have legalized weed to begin with. Or something, it was nonsense. It was also the Herald opining about weed, so no real shocker there.
But for every piece low-hanging prohibitionist news fruit to sound off on (and there is still more than enough to find across the state), local supporters have had to watch constant shenanigans unfold on the evolution of the industry itself since voters approved legalization in 2016. Some of those impacts are already observable. Look at the half-mile buffer rule for cannabis enterprises in Boston proper, or the fact that Salisbury reportedly approved a community host agreement for a cannabis business aiming to set up shop there on the condition they provide 5 percent of their revenue to local charities (thus violating the 3 percent demand cap towns can demand in order for a business to receive a CHA), and a variety of other matters that could be considered growing pains at best or harbingers, of a doomed future damned to be overrun by big monied interests at worst.
What remains shocking is the fact that in a country where more than 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, including illicit drugs and prescription opioids—more than double the number from a decade ago as per the National Institute of Health—cannabis for some is still a demonized plant. And those voices maintaining false or misleading data to uphold preconceived biases for a range of insidious reasons (see: the history of prohibition in the failed war on drugs was underwritten by institutional cultural racism) are still the most important voices to drown out. A simmering ember can still cause a lot of low-key damage if left unchecked...
Should the last vestiges of the Pigeon Superstitions comprising the bulk of the prohibitionist arguments against the legalization of cannabis continue, it will be at the hands of inaction. And their days are only as numbered as they are for backroom deals conducted between people valuing profits over people, especially when there’s a vocal, vigilant community working in tandem to educate, inform, and inspire—a local Praetorian guard, standing watch against various barbarians at the gates of cannabis industry in Mass.
Dan McCarthy // MANAGING EDITOR // SENSI BOSTON
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