Councilor proposes two-year moratorium on pot shops owned by out of towners

Councilor Kim Janey (Roxbury) today proposed giving minority Boston entrepreneurs a two-year head start on getting local marijuana licenses as a way to address past wrongs in the war on drugs and to help ensure at least some of the profits from the lucrative business stay local.

"For generations, the war on drugs targeted and criminalized poor communities of color," and the prospect of making money through marijuana is a way to "help correct the harms and right the wrongs that have been inflicted by mass incarceration," Janey said, pointing to statistics showing that while blacks and whites uses drugs at similar rates, blacks are incarcerated at six times the rate of whites.

Janey called on councilors to act quickly, to avoid what happened with liquor licenses in Boston - where rich, typically out-of-town corporations have sucked out most of the liquor licenses from Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan.

"We cannot let that happen again," she said.

Under Janey's proposal, the city would set up its own cannabis board to oversee the roughly 50 marijuana licenses that will be available in Boston - a number set in part by the council itself, which bars marijuana establishments from setting up closer than a half mile to another pot facility. The city would supply funds from the tax on pot shops to help train the local entrepreneurs.

Applicants for the first two years would be required to be Boston residents who also meet at least three of several conditions, including owners who live in "an area of disproportionate impact" from the War on Drugs; who have been convicted of marijuana trafficking in the past, or who is married to such a person; who are black or Latino; or who has current income below 400% of the federal poverty level.

After two years, out-of-town companies would be allowed to bid on Boston marijuana licenses, but the board would be responsible for ensuring a certain ratio of local to non-local owners. The board would be allowed to create license fees, but at no higher rates than the city currently charges holders of liquor-store licenses.

The council approved further study of the proposal, which means it will go to a council committee for a public hearing before coming back to the council for a vote.

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Comments

Worth noting

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the first dispensary approved within city limits (the one by North Station) will be owned by a friend of Marty Walsh. And NETA was just sold to an out of state pot conglomerate.

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all the arrests that are

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all the arrests that are still taking place in the neighborhood for possession of class d with intent to distribute are what's really racist to the core.

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Former police officers/chiefs

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Former police officers/chiefs and politicians who spent their entire careers incarcerating and deporting black and brown men for sellling marijuana, now getting rich from selling marijuana themselves is what’s really racist to the core.

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Other concerns

I'd be more concerned about making a criminal record a requirement for obtaining a permit.

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Yeah the middle class white

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Yeah the middle class white man deserves a fair share for once Amirite

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who have been convicted of

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who have been convicted of marijuana trafficking in the past, or who is married to such a person

Why only give preference to convicted marijuana dealers? Why not also convicted dealers of heroin, cocaine, meth, handguns, Indian reservation cigarettes, heisted artwork from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, prostitution, transplant organs of unknown origin, copied music CDs, East Boston Fastlane transponders, iTunes gift cards, or Amway?

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Voting is closed. 36

The word you're looking for is "equity"

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Minorities have always been disproportionately targeted in the marijuana part of the war on drugs. Janey (and other other counselors who spoke in favor today, including Edwards, Wu and Zakim) say the proposal would be one way of righting this, by giving members of these communities, who may not have the capital yet to try to get a license, a chance at ownership.

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Permits

It's one thing to say they will ignore a distribution conviction but it's another to say having one is a favored attribute.

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No the word they're looking for isn't equity

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They were caught selling an illegal product. ILLEGAL. The fact that weed is legal today should only have an effect on convictions for possession. If you sell weed today in mass its still illegal and you will still get arrested, stupid.

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If MA were more equitable

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If Boston and Massachusetts had been doing things right for decades and was and more equitable this would not even be on the table. Here in New England, we’ve bend behind the equity and access ball. That is what got us here. Sadly this is FAIR. Other city is majority minority and whites dominate every aspect of everything Money. Whites lose a small bit of time on one small rocky industry and now it’s unfair, laughable. You expected the black community to let 99 to None slide?? You’re either EXTREMLY naive or arrogant if you thought blacks and Hispanics (especiallly in Boston) were just going to accept that without putting up several fights.

All this backlash from the same population that talks about ‘entitlement’. Truly the hieight of hypocrisy.

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I wish that were true

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In reality, you can be targeted because the police think you're committing a crime, or because you look like the vague description of someone who committed a crime. Or because a cop wants to look good to his supervisors by making more arrests. And then an assistant DA wants to look good by getting a conviction and "clearinig" the crime--and the numbers there look the same whether or not they have the right person, or whether there even was a crime.

Google "testilying," a slang term that comes from police, not defense attorneys.

Yes, on paper you don't have to prove your innocence, the prosecutor has to prove your guilt. But lots of people are pressured into plea-bargaining, even when they're not guilty. And sometimes police and prosecutors flat-out frame people: a lot of juries assume that cops are telling the truth.

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O Rly?

I have news for you: Black people are targeted for crimes they aren't committing ALL THE TIME. Just one example: the Harvard professor who was accused of breaking into his own house. These kinds of things are so commonplace that they almost never make the news, unless the innocent "criminal" is famous, like Prof. Gates. Go talk to some black people, and you'll learn about crimes like Driving While Black, which prompts cops to find all sorts of other crimes that white folks don't get hassled about.

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Not familiar with your Massachusetts history?

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In addition to what the other commenters have said here, you might want to take a trip up to Salem sometime, see if there are any historical sites there...

(You might also look into the history of Rhode Island while you're at it and consider whether or not we should treat all "crimes" evenly, and whether it's possible for someone to be "targeted for a crime" because of an unjust law.)

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Um, State law...

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Doesn't the state law prohibit anyone who has been convicted of "trafficking" from getting a license? I thought the carve out in the state law for licensing was only for people who have been convicted only for possession, which as people brought up during the referendum, is almost no one, as almost all arrests are for possession with intent to distribute.

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2 year moratorium

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should extend to Uber, scooters, condo development s and Hub bikes.

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On Black People v2

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Black people live in black neighborhoods. They elect black politicians and they prefer to patronize black-owned businesses. They believe whites are annoying at best. They don't really care about double standards or what-if-that-person-were-white thought experiments.

Whites live in white neighborhoods clearly indicating they don't want to be around black people but most whites are still coming to terms with this and are in varying stages of projection and cognitive dissonance.

The way black people think about it (without saying it because it would be detrimental to their interests): We will do what we want when we get the power to do it. Don't bother with that MLK equality BS which was a means to an end. Do what you gotta do and we will do the same.

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Meh

And some people just try to treat people fairly.

I did like this line:

Whites live in white neighborhoods clearly indicating they don't want to be around black people

So if a white person (particularly middle class) moves to a predominately black neighborhood it's called gentrification and considered a Bad Thing. (At least insofar as it raises property values.) And if that same person moves to a predominately white neighborhood it's because they don't want to be around blacks? So where exactly can a white person live if they have no ill feeling regarding blacks?

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Wherever they want

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Ok but that's a theoretical question for moralists on internet message boards. Who cares if someone posts about it being a Morally Bad Thing? In the real world, people will live wherever the hell they want.

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A diverse neighborhood

You two may not be aware of this, but black people have been having kids with white people for a very long time. Those families need to live somewhere, and tend to end up in places that are a bit more diverse. Not majority minority, but diverse.

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Yes we know

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Are you one of those anti-generalizing internet posters that brings up exceptions to every conclusion? (Ex. "No that's not true, I have a friend who.... etc")

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I smell weed...and a rat. Pot licenses already in the bag?

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I have to ask, who on the short list of insiders has such a rare, almost unheard of conviction of Trafficking in Marijuana? Trafficking requires at least 50 pounds of the stuff. Some troopers and locals are good at detecting large quantities during car and truck stops but 50 or more pounds would be noteworthy and that's just the arrest, long before any conviction, which is even more difficult in such cases.

Local police and Narcotics Units are focused on heroin and fentanyl. The new DA won't prosecute weed. Any cop would either have to get a solid tip or stumble over a growing operation to reach the 50 pound threshold. Trafficking would mostly likely then be pled down to distribution, a much lower standard. Even then, most likely a CWOF and quick dismissal after six months, no conviction.

It would behoove any black or Latino living in the target area to gather up 51 pounds of marijuana and turn himself in. Then refuse any plea deals and demand a Trafficking conviction. Instant millionaire!

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Yes Kim there is money in

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Yes Kim there is money in vice and this is the economic opportunnity you want for people of color? Kim Janey is either an incredible con artist, or naive beyond a place any adult could imagine. How many people are going to be " lifted up" by pot shops?g There will human trafficking and drug dealing outside these "shops" because Boston is full of both and I for one am disgusted we are even hosting these places. Look at the empty nips that litter our neighborhoods and look at the mortality rates of population 5 blocks from a liquor store.

You are not lifting anybody up Kim, you are supporting the violence and exploitation of your own people. Hopefully you can get a strip bar and a massage parlor open on these blocks too, cause there is huge money there!!
And EVERY who gets a license and makes cake is MOVING to the whitest most conservative town they can or the Seaport.

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