Dudley won't get a marijuana dispensary without a fight

Jonathan Napoli told a City Council committee yesterday he wants to add a medical-marijuana dispensary to the hydroponics store he runs in Dudley Square.

That's good news for Councilor Bill Linehan, who says he's worried the city would try to pack all five Suffolk County dispensaries into his South Boston/South End district. But not everybody in Dudley Square is thrilled by the idea.

"Is Dispensary how we want Dudley defined?" Kaidi Grant asks this morning. "Dudley doesn't need to be known as the Weed District," she says, adding that Napoli's assertion that a dispensary would bring economic vitality to the square can be countered by other efforts to improve the area - such as the city's reconstruction of the old Ferdinand building into BPS headquarters. "Dudley needs positive branding to rebuild for the future."

City officials say no dispensary will open in Boston until at least May, when state officials are set to release overall regulations for the new facilities, under the referendum approved by voters last month. Boston officials are looking at specific zoning regulations, which could limit where dispensaries open - and subject them to public zoning hearings.



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    Is there a strip club in Dudley?

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    I walk and take the bus through it almost every day and I don't remember ever seeing a strip club.

    Aga's Highland Tap

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    Across the street from the Boston Gardener. Though its called a "bikini bar." Whatever that distinction is supposed to mean.

    Boston School Department

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    With the decisons coming out of Court Street he knows he will have hundreds of new customers when they move into Dudley square.Everytime they send out an edict from Court Street the first comment we hear is "whoever sent this out must have smoked some weed"


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    It's 5 dispensaries in Suffolk County, right? So why don't we just dump em all in Chelsea or Revere? Gives those towns some tax revenue and traffic, and satisfies the Boston NIMBYs.

    Another moron heard from...

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    *Non and For Profit Entrepreneur *Empowerment Coach: Specializing in Self-Worth, Self-Esteem and Self-Image *Branding Expert

    Roxbury meets Newbury Street

    Oh, yeah. Let's listen to what the "life coach" has to say on the issue. Life coaching is the biggest scam since televangelism. Empty, vapid people paying to get life advice from other empty,vapid people.

    And I have to wonder what Miss Grant has done lately to make people think Dudley Square is the new Newbury Street

    Running Joke

    With my middle-aged bourgeois social friends, the running joke is "Well, have you been unemployed long enough to be a life coach yet?".

    Whoa there

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    Does her twitter feed really warrant all that name-calling and sweeping assumptions about what she does and doesn't do?

    I don't know her, but I recognize the name as someone who's been really active in our neighborhood association and has done a lot of organizing of positive things in the community.


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    Yes, it does. She is seeking to deny compassionate care to people who need legal weed based on nimbyism.

    I would ask our burgeoning life coach and empowerment specialist if she approves of people buying their weed off of the street.

    Also, it's been my experience that when Roxbury tries to meet Newbury Street, the store manager usually asks the security guard to move a little closer to the door.

    I think Kadi is mistaken in

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    I think Kadi is mistaken in her stance, but she's sincere about helping Roxbury. So, no, hurling anonymous insults is as empty as you claim her job to be. She has a different opinion.

    Instead of being a d***, let's work to educate.

    If it were at all possible,

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    If it were at all possible, and of course it's not, but here's an idea: find the areas with the highest concentrations of people who voted yes for medical pot and put the dispensaries in their neighborhoods.

    In my neighborhood not a day goes by when you can't walk down the street without seeing a bunch of guys hanging out (not just young guys) acting like asshats and passing a joint.

    Top ten were all in JP & Allston/Brighton

    Highest concentration of people voting yes:

    Ward 21, Precinct 14 83.25% D-9 Cleveland Circle
    Ward 19, Precinct 4 83.35% D-6 JP Center
    Ward 21, Precinct 3 83.45% D-9 Packard's Corner
    Ward 1, Precinct 15 84.21% D-3 Deer Island
    Ward 21, Precinct 5 84.37% D-9 Harvard Ave
    Ward 11, Precinct 10 84.61% D-6 South Street / Arborway
    Ward 19, Precinct 6 85.94% D-6 JP Center
    Ward 21, Precinct 8 86.00% D-9 Aerosmith
    Ward 19, Precinct 1 86.80% D-6 Hyde Square / Whole Foods
    Ward 21, Precinct 4 90.32% D-9 Harvard Ave

    Deer Island precinct?

    Nobody has lived there since the House of Correction was demolished to make way for the current sewage treatment plant and park. Who is voting in that precinct?

    Ward 1, Precinct 15 includes

    Ward 1, Precinct 15 includes all the harbor islands. The box is kept at the Columbia Point polling place, and usually comes home empty. Funny thing though - the precinct includes Long Island, with it's homeless shelter. You don't suppose someone at the shelter encouraged voting on this question, do you?

    There are 535 residents in W1P15

    There were 535 residents in the "Islands" district. The city's website shows 21 voters casting votes on Election Day; 16 "Yes", 3 "No", and 2 Blank. (Warning, PDF)

    I definitely meant to say "Long Island", because that's where the homeless shelter is set up and people can use that as their address when registering to vote.

    Question 3 Results

    The Top 10 results above don't include the blanks, so the percentages are a bit off from what the city's tally would be, but presumably pretty much the same number of voters in each precinct left it blank.

    I wouldn't mind

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    If someone wants to open up a dispensary, now a perfectly legal business, in A/B I would support them.

    I voted for the measure, I'll stand by that vote.

    I would like to say that we're not like the snobs who apparently live in Southie and Dudley, but I'll see how it goes.

    Both communities have buried

    Both communities have buried many residents due to drug use, and suffered terribly due to drug crime, and the effects of drugs on families. Excuse them for not parsing out the difference between pot and other drugs when they've just come from the cemetery.

    I think many residents are able to parse.

    Did a majority of the people in those neighborhoods actually vote no on the medical marijuana question? And have these communities never lost anyone to alcohol? I notice there are precious few "dry" neighborhoods in Boston.

    Take your condescension elsewhere

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    Between 80-90% of the voters in Allston seem to have voted Yes on the question. We are quite capable of distinguishing cannabis from other substances.

    Many people have been killed by alcohol abuse or drunken driving. We are still capable of "parsing out the difference" between that and responsible drinking.

    Everyone knows that cannabis is a safe substance. Your rotten old lies no longer work. This is not 1970 anymore. We know better now.

    Doesn't the city or the state

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    Doesn't the city or the state report on ballot initiative results at the ward level? Those could be used to figure out the weediest neighborhoods.

    Perhaps a stupid question

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    But why not dispense medical marijuana at pharmacies, just like any other legally prescribed drug?
    If you need a drug, you get a prescription from your doctor, and then you go to CVS and fill it. Instead of having 5 controversial high-volume locations to get the drugs, make it incredibly diffuse and low volume. That way no single point becomes the place where all the people wanting marijuana go, and no single place gets a bad rap as a place where all the "potheads" hang out.

    In Colorado, before they legalized it completely, all the dispensaries looked like head shops, and If I had cancer or some valid medical need, I would be reluctant to go in, because they seemed so disreputable.

    Don't ask logical questions

    Girlfriend, you nailed it.

    The city (BRA, Councilor Consalvo) are apparently trying to pull something over on Bostonians by saying it is a "new" use, which means it needs new zoning. Consalvo has said twice in city council meetings that "the zoning code is a fluid document" b/c he knows people are questioning the need for new zoning.

    It IS just like a pharmacy.

    The only weakness in the law is that it allows just 5 dispensaries in each county (a "weakness" meaning limitation, not an opinion of whether or not more are needed).

    So, if there's no way to limit where in the county the five will go, my fear is that all five will be shoved into the highest-trafficked areas in Boston - downtown. They should, in fact, be spread out so that they are convenient to all residents, and at least one should be in the other three cities in Suffolk County - Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop.

    They are going to stigmatize people who have a need for the drug. This will end up being worse than their fears b/c it means only sketchy people will go, b/c as you say, they will end up looking disreputable.

    So a dispensary can't just be a certain CVS or Walgreens?

    Jeez, you guys are sure right that it was foolish to mandate that medical marijuana be distributed differently than other prescription drugs. I hadn't even thought of that. Why didn't the law just allow any pharmacy to fill the script? Potential law enforcement issues?Anybody know?

    I'm confident CVS and Walgreens want nothing to do with this.

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    I don't know exactly why such mandate exists (if it does - I can't recall the specific text of the law), but I can tell you this: if I were a lawyer for a big corporate pharmacy, I would advise my client to not go anywhere near this until it was crystal clear that this does not violate federal law. The President instructing the DoJ not to go after this in states where state law allows it is not good enough (not enforced is much different than not illegal, and in any case, the enforcement attitude could easily change in four years).

    CVS, Walgreens and the like make enough money without wading into an area where the law is, at best, murky, and they are not about to put their deep pockets in the line of a prosecutor looking to make a name for him/herself [this last line was subsequently edited to remove an untimely and unintentional reference to gun violence. Sorry].