Aug 6, 2015
Boston Herald - Boston Police Commissioner William Evans told Boston Herald Radio’s “Morning Meeting” show that one of his security concerns over the idea of legalizing marijuana in Massachusetts is the connection he says exists between the drug and home invasions in the state.
“A lot of home invasions seem to revolve around someone smoking marijuana
, young college kids tying to supplement their income,” he said. “We get a half-dozen every year where they invite regular city kids over and next thing you know, their door is getting knocked down and they are getting robbed.”
Four different pro-marijuana ballot questions are expected to be filed today to Attorney General Maura Healey for her to review as part of the ballot initiative process to legalize the drug in the state. Massachusetts has already decriminalized marijuana. Anyone who is found with less than an ounce can only be ticketed for the offense. Medical marijuana has also come to the state, with a third dispensary planned for Milk Street in Boston gaining approval yesterday from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
“I worry about someone picking up their (medical marijuana) supply, walking two blocks down the street, and someone else there waiting to rob them,
” Evans said.
Evans was joined by Boston mayor Martin J. Walsh in studio. The mayor says he will oppose any ballot question that legalizes marijuana. He said he has received mixed reviews on how well legalization has worked in Colorado.
“The intent of the marijuana law in Colorado is to get rid of the drug dealers, but they are still dealing
because it’s cheaper than what you can buy from the state,” Walsh said.
“We have such an opiate problem out there now, I don’t think it’s the right time to get into making another drug so readily available,” Evans added. “There is no doubt in my mind it’s a gateway drug.
... I am not for it by any means.”
The approval for the Milk Street medicinal dispensary came over the objections of some businesses and residents in Downtown Crossing. Patriot Care, the group operating the facility, made a number of concessions in order to get up and running. There will be no signage outside the building and the store front will be leased to an unrelated business. Patriot Care will also pay for a police officer to be stationed at the dispensary during its hours of operations.
“The concessions came a long way from where it started,” Walsh said. “But if there is legalization, now you may have these stores popping up all over the city. I would be concerned about that. Once a ballot question is written, we have very little recourse on how we enforce it.”
Walsh suggested a legislative approach to the issue may be easier to change, if changes are needed in the future.
The Milk Street dispensary will open in January 2016 due to the amount of time it will take to grow the product, a Patriot Care vice president told the Herald yesterday.