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Traffic remains main objection to proposed Charlestown cannabis shop; but some residents worry it could be a gateway to harder stuff

Cannabis Community Meeting | Charlestown | Wednesday, March 10, 2021 6:30 p.m.

Opposition continued last night to a proposed cannabis shop on Cambridge Street in Charlestown's Lost Village - the section of the Town cut off from the rest of the neighborhood by I-93.

At a neighborhood meeting, proposed shop operator Nike John and her traffic consultant presented a traffic study that showed her shop, at 116 Cambridge St. would do little to worsen the existing traffic hellhole caused by out-of-towners driving their cars and trucks through neighborhood streets on their way to Sullivan Square. And she said she would set up a Lost Village trust fund specifically for neighborhood projects - and would set aside up to $150,000 a year to help up to ten people make their closing costs on buying a new home.

John's attorney, Phil Silverman, said one reason the shop would not have much of a traffic impact is because by the time it opens, it would be pretty much a neighborhood concern, only pulling customers from the surrounding area. Traffic problems at shops elsewhere, he said, were caused by the fact there were so few shops in the state; by the time the Heritage Club opens, there should be at least 200 marijuana marts across the state.

"On a certain level, this is really a convenience store," Silverman said. "It's just a highly regulated convenience store, with significant security."

The proposed store is the same as the one that the Boston Cannabis Board rejected last fall, saying John and her then partner had to do more work on traffic issues and outreach with the neighborhood.

Silverman said the overall proposal, however, has changed significantly since then, in large part due to the traffic study, but also due to the fact that John would be the only owner and because her team has since put together a detailed security plan.

One resident praised John for getting the city-funded traffic study done; she said John "has done more [for the Lost Village] in three months than you guys have seen in what, 35 years?"

But other residents said the study was flawed because it concentrated on Cambridge Street rather than side streets, such as Parker and Brighton streets, which they said were equally hard hit by through traffic. They said their small neighborhood can't take any more, not when children are getting hit.

Some residents also said they could not abide a marijuana store in a neighborhood hard hit by the opioid crisis in the 1990s and early 2000s.

"We've been through hell and back with an opioid issue here, it's been horrendous," one resident said. Another said the neighborhood is still feeling the effects of the "atomic bomb" that he said the opioid crisis was in Charlestown. "We still see the walking dead going through our neighborhood." Another said she doesn't want to have to move but might if the store opens.

One resident even questioned whether John, who helped organize a weekly networking meeting for small-business owners in Charlestown, even lives in Boston.

"From what I understand, you live in Quincy, no?" John said she lives in Dorchester. "We don't even know you," the woman continued. The resident did not say whether she has raised a similar concern about other business owners in the neighborhood.

John said she is hoping to file her new application with the cannabis board by the end of the month. Should she win approval, she would also have to go before the Zoning Board of Appeal and then the state Cannabis Control Commission for approval.

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Ridiculous. She has done what they have asked now they push the goal post farther. As for the opioid crisis? A highly addictive pill is not the same as pot.

The fake outrage is ridiculous especially when you have packies and ciggies abound.

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Voting closed 163

We never see any uproar when liquor stores want to open up. Yet so many towns complain about the nip trash. I know more people's lives who have been destroyed by alcohol than anything else. Never a word about liquor stores. And in fact, I bet if this was a liquor store, it would already be open by now, passing all the boards and lots of YIMBYs who love to drink.

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Voting closed 195

For what its worth, its not this area but my neighborhood did fight another liquor store and are currently against a cannabis store. People like to use that comparison recently but truth is nobody wants the liquor store either.

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Voting closed 172

"Before pot was legal, we had a huge heroin problem here, so now I'm afraid if we let legal pot in, it will cause a heroin problem here."

There are leaps of logic that need to be taken to even try to make sense of the argument.

Without A existing, B occurred. Therefore, A might cause B.

Feed that into an AI program and see what happens to it.

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Voting closed 172

That’s a cop out I have been smoking for over 30 yrs now and still haven’t touched anything else besides marijuana and as far as traffic goes they are putting a shop in North station where there is already a lot of traffic and nobody complained about that shop they are just using that as an excuse

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Voting closed 195

"Who said Marijuana is a starter drug. I went straight to coke!"

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Voting closed 151

.. to move on to other drugs to earn the public’s antipathy. I have more respect and compassion for drunks and opioid users. At least they keep their foul odors and drugs to themselves. They can also be jailed for causing harm as a result of their substance abuse. Smokers just puff away and throw their butts on the ground or stink up entire apartment buildings. They sometimes burn them down too.

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Voting closed 157

At the legal cannabis store, I can buy edibles with a specified amount of THC. No smoking, nor even vaporizer, involved--which is better for the person using the drug as well as for people around them.

Meanwhile, it's illegal to smoke marijuana on the street, or in public parks, and the standard apartment lease in this state bans smoking, of anything at all, anywhere on the property. My landlord probably doesn't care whether I smoke in the parking space behind the house, that's boilerplate that we didn't care enough to ask him to remove, but it's in there and in a lot of other people's leases.

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Voting closed 179

You can make your own edibles but you smoke anyway. So there goes your lame argument.

Illegal doesn’t mean it’s enforced or even enforceable. It’s very difficult to evict a smoker. The management of my building tried for 3 years to catch him in the act. The evidence flushed down the toilet every time. Finally he moved on his own.

Nobody is opening pot shops that don’t sell smokeable marijuana.

The entire industry gives lip service on the issue but cries injustice.

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Voting closed 48

your neighbor should have been evicted on the suspicion that he was smoking weed? i want to evict my upstairs neighbor because he walks too loudly in the mornings.

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Voting closed 148

Am I your neighbor?

(I could not be, unless you are secretly living in my basement. But I definitely walk loudly. And have also lived in apartments with loud upstairs neighbors before.)

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Voting closed 171

I had neighbors once who, I don't know, rearranged all of the furniture at 3AM often?

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Voting closed 90

.. to move on to other drugs to earn the public’s antipathy. I have more respect and compassion for drunks and opioid users. At least they keep their foul odors and drugs to themselves. They can also be jailed for causing harm as a result of their substance abuse. Smokers just puff away and throw their butts on the ground or stink up entire apartment buildings. They sometimes burn them down too.

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Voting closed 175

It's been a hot minute since we've done one of these. Let's play!

Nike John...said she would...set aside up to $150,000 a year to help up to ten people make their closing costs on buying a new home.

I've never in 17 years as a Bostonian seen the rank corruption in this community spelled out so clearly as in this account of an aspiring businesswoman feeling like she has to guarantee 150 grand (you know, four times what I make working for a living in a good year) to help pick shelter profiteering winners EVERY YEAR just so that she can operate a retail store.

John's attorney, Phil Silverman, said one reason the shop would not have much of a traffic impact is because by the time it opens, it would be pretty much a neighborhood concern, only pulling customers from the surrounding area. Traffic problems at shops elsewhere, he said, were caused by the fact there were so few shops in the state; by the time the Heritage Club opens, there should be at least 200 marijuana marts across the state.

What the (expletive) did I say 10 years ago about casinos? I'm flattered to find that a) I was ahead of my time, and 2) I'm as smart as a lawyer.

One resident praised John for getting the city-funded traffic study done; she said John "has done more [for the Lost Village] in three months than you guys have seen in what, 35 years?"

Now there's a fella (lady?) who knows what's up.

They said their small neighborhood can't take any more, not when children are getting hit.

Did they try "Stay out of the street, or I'll take a belt to your ass", or do they deem child-rearing to be someone else's responsibility?

"We've been through hell and back with an opioid issue here, it's been horrendous," one resident said.

Which has literally nothing to do with marijuana, you stupid boomer. George Bush is dead, the War on Drugs is a failure, and it's 2021. Advance intellectually and move on.

Another said she doesn't want to have to move but might if the store opens.

Oh, no, a big city is filled with hundreds of thousands of people whose agendas differ from yours! However shall you coexist with them? I've pulled 17 years of this out of my ass. Cowboy up, lady.

One resident even questioned whether John, who helped organize a weekly networking meeting for small-business owners in Charlestown, even lives in Boston.

"From what I understand, you live in Quincy, no?" John said she lives in Dorchester.

Uh oh.

"We don't even know you," the woman continued. The resident did not say whether she has raised a similar concern about other business owners in the neighborhood.

I don't like where this is going...

(Looks up Nike John on LinkedIn)

(Sees her photo)

(Immediately realizes what kind of hint this resident is dropping)

(Facepalms)

John said she is hoping to file her new application with the cannabis board by the end of the month. Should she win approval, she would also have to go before the Zoning Board of Appeal and then the state Cannabis Control Commission for approval.

Nike John, you have my unequivocal support. I'm rooting for you every step of the way.

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Voting closed 218

I don't like where this is going...

(Looks up Nike John on LinkedIn)

(Sees her photo)

(Immediately realizes what kind of hint this resident is dropping)

(Facepalms)

You win a prize today! Because you're spot on. This is exactly where this went.

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Voting closed 124

I assume that same anonymous woman thinks it's 'cancel culture' if she can't use the N word.

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Voting closed 123

you love to see it

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Voting closed 111

Traffic remains main objection to proposed Charlestown cannabis shop; but some residents worry it could be a gateway to harder stuff realize that's a dumb reason to block a business from opening so they have to make up some other excuse

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Voting closed 176

I don't blame 93 for separating the Lost Village from the rest of Charlestown.

Railroads did it before 93 existed: https://web.archive.org/web/20160304190755/http://docs.unh.edu/MA/bstn03...

And I suspect swamps did it before that.

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Voting closed 147

Traffic and think of the children is the excuse for not doing anything.

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Voting closed 164

This country was done with its children after Sandy Hook happened and gun sales didn’t get reformed.

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Voting closed 59

First off, I didn't know this area was Charlestown. I thought it was Somerville. Sounds like John should move her store 1/8th of a mile into Somerville, and wouldn't have so many road blocks.

But this area, its on a main drag, its across from a T station. I don't think traffic is gonna be much of an issue. People ARENT going to cut thru the neighborhood from 93. Its nearly impossible to do coming from 93. 93N ramp at Sullivan, it's a simple left to the store. From the 93S ramp, you'll be coming from Mystic Ave, so unless you cut thru East Somerville (which is idiotic by any means), you will stay on Mystic to Sullivan Square, then a right out of the rotary.

It's also good to note that all the streets from Sullivan to almost Cobble Hill are all one ways that feed Cambridge/Washington. Not sure how they think people will cut over side streets.

The whole traffic argument these days for a pot shop is a weak one, and it needs to stop being taken into consideration. We have over 200 outlets now, the long lines and traffic are a thing of the past. Anyone who still believes this goes on, is not abreast with what's going on.

"We've been through hell and back with an opioid issue here, it's been horrendous," one resident said. Another said the neighborhood is still feeling the effects of the "atomic bomb" that he said the opioid crisis was in Charlestown. "We still see the walking dead going through our neighborhood."

And who's fault is that. Not Nike's or her store. These two do not equal each other, time and time again it has SHOWN that pot stores opening REDUCES opiate usage. But we can't tell that to people who still live inside Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" Head.

Once again, they are attacking someone (or some thing) that has ZERO to do with the opiate epidemic and using as a catapult to get what they want (even if it isn't correct). When in fact, they should be focusing on the drug companies that spend a decade pushing this crap onto people.

I've never had pot **pushed** onto me by a doctor via drug company. But I have had all sorts of medications, including Oxy Contin pushed onto me by a doctor via a drug company.

Go clutch your pearls at the Sakler family, not at Nike.

Another said she doesn't want to have to move but might if the store opens.

Good, she can move. Sell her house to some yuppie couple for twice its value. That yuppie couple would probably welcome the pot store with open arms. Win Win for everyone.

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Voting closed 116

Non-starter.

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Voting closed 131

A pot shop is a safe way not a gateway!!! The gateway is when you buy weed on the street and the dealer offers you hard drugs which will not happen at a dispensary

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Voting closed 178

So a pot shop is both reasonable and welcome.

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Voting closed 129

By harder stuff do they mean chips instead of brownies?

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Voting closed 160

Along with just about anything else.

Believe me, the only bodies that dropped from weed in Charlestown was if you welshed on the cuff.

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Voting closed 105