What happens next to recreational marijuana in Newton (with a new twist)

City Council President Marc Laredo released this memo today regarding the fate of the proposed ballot question that would ban on recreational  marijuana store in Newton (including a twist in terms of when the referendum might be held).

To: City Council
From: President Laredo
Re: Process regarding possible ballot questions relating to a ban or limit on the number of retail marijuana outlets in Newton

Date: August 28, 2018

Under the new marijuana law, Newton must issue at least eight licenses for retail marijuana establishments (one-quarter of the number of liquor licenses) unless the voters give the City Council the authority to ban or otherwise limit the number of retail marijuana outlets in Newton to fewer than eight. In July, we passed a measure to place on the November ballot the question of whether Newton should limit the number of such establishments to 2-4 (with the exact number to be left to the Council’s discretion), but

Globe: ‘It’s not supposed to be easy to ban marijuana sales permanently’

A Boston Globe editorial has some harsh words for the “overwhelmingly white and wealthy” suburban communities where voters supported legalizing recreational marijuana but are now trying to ban the stores.

…it’s not supposed to be easy to ban marijuana sales permanently, especially in towns whose residents voted for legalization in the 2016 referendum. 

Later the editorial is talking about Concord, but it seems to apply to Newton as well…

…One is forced to wonder: Which children did the overwhelmingly white and wealthy towns have in mind, and would they have voted differently in 2016 if all state residents were exposed to its consequences equally?


Massachusetts is headed toward a two-tier system, strongly correlated to race and privilege, and the law allows it. It’s not a pretty picture — and if towns try to make it even worse through moratoriums, officials should just say no.  

Can we at least agree that this is not a ‘residential neighborhood’?

Can we at least agree that this is not a ‘residential neighborhood’?

As WCVB reported this week (and in a TAB oped that does not seem to be online) a proposal for a medical marijuana dispensary right behind the Negoshian’s at the corner of Route 9 and Elliot Street, is attracting a lot of heat from neighbors.

Now folks can support or oppose medical marijuana clinics. We can be supportive or opposed to recreational marijuana stores (and the proprietor of this clinic hopes to one day also be approved as a retail store). We can debate whether or not the presence of a clinic or retail shop will harm teens. We can disagree over many retails stores is too many or not enough.

But can we at least agree that — contrary to the claims made in the TAB op-ed and heard in public hearings — this corner of Route 9 and Elliot is not a “residential neighborhood”? Yes there are

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