Councilors question proposed Southampton pot dispensary, blast state snub

Several city councilors say they're not opposed to medical marijuana but that Southampton Street is just the wrong place for one of the two dispensaries provisionally approved by the state because it's already in the middle of an area with large methadone clinics, a jail, trash-transfer facilities and the BU biolab.

And at a hearing today, councilors expressed major disappointment in state officials, none of whom showed up.

Councilor Bill Linehan (South Boston, South End, Chinatown) said he is convinced medical marijuana is essential for "certain patients with certain ailments, with certain diseases," but that Southampton Street is just the wrong location.

Boston Police Supt. Robert Merner said he's concerned in particular about crime in the area - he said there are roughly 320 arrests a year in the corridor from Southampton Street to Andrew Square by people going to the local methadone clinics - and by the people who prey on them.

City Councilors Michael Flaherty (at large) and Tim McCarthy (Hyde Park, Roslindale, Mattapan), said they are worried that people who are not at all ill would congregate around the dispensary and either try to get some of the pot themselves or prey on patients after they leave.

Flaherty predicted pot users and methadone patients would simply trade drugs with each other. He added he'd rather see pharmacies dispense medical marijuana, rather than letting in the disruptive dispensary industry in, but said that would require action by the federal government to re-categorize marijuana.

Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) said he's concerned that the proposed location is just two blocks from the Orchard Gardens school.

Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission, said neither of the city's proposed dispensaries - the other would be on Boylston Street between Arlington and Berkeley - will go forward without a public hearing before the Zoning Board of Appeals.

She added the city will also require three unannounced inspections a year - and home delivery of the marijuana. Home delivery should ease police concerns about theft and other crimes related to patients being allowed to grow marijuana at home. Delivery vehicles will have to have a certain level of security - almost to the level of an armored car.

Merner said BPD will conduct an intensive security audit of facilities before they open to ensure the safety of both patients and surrounding residents.

Andrew D'Angelo, executive director of Green Heart Holistic Health, which proposed the Southampton Street dispensary, said experience in Oakland shows a dispensary can actually improve a troubled neighborhood. He said the proposed location today is "an empty, almost blighted building" and that renovations and security for the new facility will "begin to shift the optics and reality of the surrounding neighborhood."

He said students at Orchard Gardens won't even know there's a marijuana dispensary there - there will be no signs or pro-pot messages outside.

He added he's getting a little frustrated with councilors and others questioning the dispensary's motives and the state process. "There are people in this city that are suffering, that are near death" and need marijuana now, he said.

Jamie Lewis, COO of Good Chemistry, which wants to open the Boylston Street dispensary, said its Denver dispensary has had no security problems in the five years it's been open. She said the facility will be open only to patients with prescriptions and that marijuana will be delivered in safes in unmarked vans.

A Good Chemistry lawyer said the non-profit is looking at identifying another location in case the neighborhood or the ZBA rejects Boylston Street. He declined to say where.

Lewis said Denver, which is roughly the same size as Boston, has roughly 180 dispensaries.

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Comments

If that were true...

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That the methadone clinic people will simply "trade drugs" with the MM clients, then there would be junkies hanging around cancer clinics.

Can we do something about the used needles littering Mass Ave instead?

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"Flaherty predicted pot users

"Flaherty predicted pot users and methadone patients would simply trade drugs with each other."

I knew there was a reason I thought Flaherty was a total asshat.

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Yes!

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After all, weed is a GATEWAY DRUG. Once you get the taste of weed in your mouth, then next step is obviously injecting heroin, smoking crack, and/or doing angel dust. These pols all sound like dinosaurs talking about marijuana.

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solution...

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Close the methadone clinics...

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After

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all physicians are willing to prescribe Subutex to people of all class backgrounds and abilities, then this would be a great idea!

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Solution to what?

Addicts receiving treatment?

Your drug dealing business not having enough customers? Your fencing business not having enough inventory?

No - we need more clinics and more treatment beds if we want to curtail drug use and drug crime. Time for a public health approach to drug use that has been demonstrated to work. Time to end the fake war on drugs that has only made the problem worse each year.

(FTR: yes, I do support having clinics and treatment facilities in my neighborhood and community, and will testify to that as a public health professional without hesitation)

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surely the modern inner city implementation

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Of the "methadone clinic" isn't a necessary prerequisite for treatment ... Or is excessive littering and petty sidewalk fighting part of the road to recovery?

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Well then

Tell me why a meth clinic is 'good' for the neighborhood wile a pot store is bad...

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Are the councilors this

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Are the councilors this worried about CVS and Walgreens, who distribute many more addictive drugs with higher rates of addiction than marijuana? The best way to solve many of these concerns is to have MORE dispensaries, so they are spread out. If there were 3 drugstores allowed in all of Boston, there would be issues with crowding and the small portion of customers with phoney prescriptions for pharmaceutical drugs like Oxy. But that would be ludicrous, so there arent limits. But for some reason with medical marijuana there is.

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Makes the most sense to have

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Makes the most sense to have hospitals dispense medical pot since that's where patients already go to have serious illnesses treated.

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Makes the most sense to have

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Makes the most sense to have hospitals dispense medical pot since that's where patients already go to have serious illnesses treated.

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Fixed that for you

Makes the most sense to have hospitals dispense any and all narcotic painkillers since that's where patients already go to have serious illnesses treated.

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The South Hampton stroll

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As a nurse practitioner who regularly walks from Andrew to BMC I am accosted on a regular basis by folks looking for 'pins, got any suboxone, Adderall and Johnnies. The roadway is littered with used needles, discarded pill bottle and the usual nips and beer cans. Putting a cannabis dispensary in the mix is a no brainer of what not to do.

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So you are equating the use

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So you are equating the use of cannabis to opiates and anti-anxiety medication? Cannabis is not physically addictive, and does not cause overdoses. Legal opiates can kill you with one dose, and is probably one of the most physically addictive substances on the planet. The reason why methadone clinics don't work that well is because methadone is not really the best drug to treat an opiate addiction. Also, you really cannot equate a recreational cannabis user to a full blown heroin addict. People who smoke regularly and semi-regularly still contribute greatly to society (look up Carl Sagan, Ted Turner, Morgan Freeman, Richard Branson, Bill Maher). And by the way, all the drugs you mentioned in your post are legal and can be obtained at a CVS or Walgreens, which are next to schools, hospitals, methadone clinics, libraries, youth centers, etc. We have horrific public policy in the US in regards to drug usage. Look at Portugal: http://www.businessinsider.com/portugal-drug-policy-decriminalization-wo...

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this is why i hate living here sometimes

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why does this city have so many issues with the simplest things to make life better? 1-2am last call with 12am trains, no food trucks, no pot dispensaries even though people overwhelmingly want them, limits on strip clubs and liquor licenses, no casinos even though the economic impact would be beneficial

and you wonder why Boston is the last place young people want to go. im 28 and wonder how much better it would have been growing up in another city. ive been to many places and Boston except for weather could be the best city in the country if it just eased up. fuck this place

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relocate, what's stopping you?

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Crybaby, no one is forcing you to live here. There are bigger and cheaper cities all across the country where bars stay open past 2am. Bye bye!

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Yes,

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Rather than talk about what might make living here a better experience, anyone who doesn't like everything about Massachusetts should just MOVE.

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...

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Andrew D'Angelo, executive director of Green Heart Holistic Health, ... said that renovations and security for the new facility will "begin to shift the optics and reality of the surrounding neighborhood."

mannnnnnnnnnnn

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Boston City Council Staff, Titles

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Boston City Council Staff, Titles

1) Office of Councilor Frank Baker, District Three
2) Amy Frigulietti, Administrative Assistant
3) Amanda Curley, Administrative Assistant
4) Jill Baker, Administrative Assistant
5) Joseph McEachern, Administrative Assistant
6) Allyson Quinn, Administrative Assistant

7) Office of Councilor Mark Ciommo, District Nine
8) Mark Handley - Chief of Staff
9) Deborah O'Leary - Office Manager
10) Alexander Chase - Director of Zoning and Licensing http://firstchoicerealty.com/alex-chase/
11) Joseph Walsh - Constituency Services

12) Office of Councilor Michael F. Flaherty, Councilor At Large
13) Ryan Spitz, Chief of Staff
14) Robyn Casper, Policy Director
15) Shaikh Hasib, Communications Director
16) Will Dickerson, Community and Constituent Services Director
17) Paul Sullivan, Community and Constituent Services Liaison
18) Maria Lanza, Community and Constituent Services Liaison
19) Tricia Kalayjian, Community and Constituent Services Liaison

20) Office of Councilor Tito Jackson, District Seven
21) Nichelle Sadler, Chief of Staff
22) Reynolds Graves, Deputy Chief of Staff
23) Daniel Polanco, Constituent Services Coordinator
24) Justin Brown, Special Assistant
25) Vatsady Sivongxay, Policy Director

26) Office of Councilor Salvatore LaMattina, District One
27) Janet Knott, Chief of Staff
28) Kathy Carangelo, Scheduler
29) Camilo Hernandez, Senior Director of Constituent Services
30) Michael Sinatra, Constituent Services Co-Ordinator
31) Judy Evers, Charlestown Liaison
32) Jennifer McGivern, Research Assistant
33) Lori Toscano, Research Assistant

34) Office of Councilor Bill Linehan, District Two
35) Mark McGonagle, Chief of Staff
36) Elaine Cloherty, Secretary
37) Kristin Abbott, Constituent Services
38) John Allison, Constituent Services
39) James Chan, Constituent Services
40) Susan McMorrow, Constituent Services

41) Office of Councilor Timothy McCarthy, District Five
42) Lee Blasi, Chief of Staff
43) Walter Apperwhite, Director of Constituent Services
44) Stephen Maguire, Community Liaison
45) Herby Lindor, Constituent Services

46) Office of Councilor Stephen J. Murphy, Councilor At Large
47) Thomas McDonough, Legislative aide/ intergovernmental services
48) Molly O'Connell, Legislative aide/Press
49) Bernadette Lally, Chief of Staff/scheduler

50) Office of Councilor Matt O’Malley, District Six
51) Elizabeth Sullivan, Chief of Staff
52) William MacGregor, West Roxbury Liaison
53) Hannah Smith, Jamaica Plain Liaison
54) Timothy Colby, Staff Assistant

55) Office of Councilor Ayanna Pressley, Councilor At Large
56) Jessica Taubner, Chief of Staff
57) James Sutherland, Manager of Operations
58) Eric White, Neighborhood Liaison
59) Augusto Goncalves, Neighborhood Liaison
60) Jessie Zimmerer, Scheduler and Neighborhood Liaison

61) Office of Councilor Michelle Wu, Councilor At Large
62) David Vittorini, Chief of Staff
63) Henry Cohen, Neighborhood Liaison
64) Gary Webster, Constituency Director
65) Ivon Alvarez, Neighborhood Liaison

66) Office of Councilor Charles Yancey, District Four
67) Lynnette Frazier, Chief of Staff
68) Kenneth Yarbrough, Chief information Officer
69) Nichelle Purvis, Special Assistant
70) Oluwasegum Idowu, Special Assistant (PT)

71) Office of Councilor Josh Zakim, District Eight
72) Daniel Sibor, Chief of Staff
73) Kyndal Henicke, Deputy Chief of Staff
74) Leila Fajardo-Giles, Neighborhood Liaison
75) Carol Krupa, Neighborhood Liaison

Central Staff
76) Daisy De la Rosa, Staff Director
77) Kathleen Sullivan, Budget Director
78) Betty Chin, Assistant Budget Director
79) Christine O’Donnell, Legislative Director
80) Michael Nichols, Research Director
81) Lincoln Smith, Assistant Research Director
82) Ron Cobb, City Messenger
83) Juan Lopez, Legislative Liaison
84) Cora Montrond, Legislative Liaison
85) Yuleidy Valdez, Business Manager
86) Kerry Jordan, Program Manager
87) Lorraine Schettino, Receptionist
88) Ellen M. Fritch, City Stenographer

Many Staff. Better Council Communications.

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With all that many staff it could be easy to make available the plain text full Stenographic Record, already budged for with public funds and better Council Communications. It's a weakness of Boston City Council that Council Communications aren't up to date and more robust.

Put it in Brighton

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You don't want it on Southampton next to the friggin' hospital?? Fine. Give it to us in Brighton. It's in the city, but it's not in the city in a way you have to think about it (you never think about Brighton anyways...and we're okay with that). Every bro at BC will suddenly come down with glaucoma, but that's mostly Newton's problem. Saint E's has an infusion center for oncology/chemotherapy. I'm sure their patients would prefer not having to schlep to "the city" in order to deal with their nausea.

It's just a shame that its taxes and licensing would have to be shared with the rest of you.

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Yeah!

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And in a perfect world , it would be near Twin Donuts. Or Jim's Deli.

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