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Walpole Residents Speak Out Against Pot Dispensaries in Town

The Walpole Board of Selectmen hosted a discussion for residents to give feedback about a medical marijuana dispensary in Walpole at their meeting Tuesday night.

Concerned Walpole residents voiced their opposition to having a medical marijuana dispensary in town at the Board of Selectmen meeting Tuesday night.

Selectmen hosted a discussion on the issue to get feedback from residents to help them determine whether zoning bylaws should be put in place to ban dispensaries in Walpole. Three residents gave their thoughts.

Silvio Stumpo, a 35 year resident of Walpole said he is disgusted at the idea of a dispensary in town.

“We have three daughters. One is living in this town and is a married mother of two, a five-year-old and a two-year-old, and just the thought of them being exposed to it, medical or otherwise, really disturbs me a great deal. Whether it’s in the center of town or in a neighborhood,” Stumpo said.

“I understand that it is medical, at least this is what we’re told. But if we do get one of these in town or several of them, to think that this is not going to be in the hands of teenagers or other potential addicts, and with all due respect to our police, with all the problems we have today in this town I think we’re asking for big, big trouble,” he said.

Resident Michelle Alexander said she was opposed to a dispensary as well and would like to see funds allocated for law enforcement and schools for more drug education.

“I have two boys, one in seventh grade and one fifth grade, so I think I’m looking at it from a different perspective in terms of what it means to my children,” said Alexander.

“I think there’s a lot more we’ll have to do in that front when it comes to the kids. Because inevitably it’s going to end up in their hands,” she said.

Susan Masterson said she is concerned about how safe it would be to have a dispensary in town.

“I think of security. I would no more work in one of those dispensaries as nothing is in [the law] about whether you’d have a policeman or security. And if that isn’t written in there that would mean the town of Walpole would need to be responsible," Masterson said.

A recent survey issued by the Board of Health on the town's website showed 65.8-percent of those who responded said they would be for a dispensary in town.

As of Jan. 22 there were 553 responses to the survey. 366 votes for 'yes' and 190 votes for 'no'. 46.7-percent of those who took the survey said they would support a dispensary in the downtown area.

No one during the discussion at the selectmen meeting said they would be in favor of having dispensary in Walpole.

“I hate to think that we could walk down Main Street and walk by a dispensary,” said Stumpo. “The idea of someone walking out of a dispensary smoking a joint is totally disgusting.”

In the November elections, Massachusetts voted to approve Question 3 which legalized medical marijuana on the state level. Walpole also voted to approve the ballot question on election day with 7,492 votes for 'Yes' and 6,164 votes for 'No'. 

Is anyone in favor of a pot dispensary in Walpole willing to speak their mind? Let us know what your thoughts are.

Chris O'Hara January 27, 2013 at 06:48 AM
Ban one dispensary so you'll have a few hundred growing at home.......ya thats the prohibitionists argument..... The ignorance from the prohibitionists fear mongering liars used to aggravate me.....not anymore they are becoming less reverent everyday...... Hate to panic the good people of walpole with some facts but facts are facts Fact every teenager since the sixties has had 24/7/365 access to cannabis when ever and where ever they are.... Fact you will never stop adults from buying it if they so desire...... So keep wasting billions and more importantly keep wasting the lives of young adults destroying their future to save them from cannabis....... Thats the prohibitionists mind set " destroy a young persons life and future in order to save them from cannabis" God couldnt enforce prohibition and god only had a tree and two people to watch
asmarterapproach January 27, 2013 at 03:41 PM
The final remark be Mr. Stumpo is incredibly ignorant. Legislation will clearly state that medical marijuana is to be used in the privacy of ones home. There is not a single MMJ program in the country that allows you to use medicine inside the dispensary, let alone in public. Public use will continue to be illegal. Educate yourselves people. While your worries about the effect it may have on your children are valid, it would be far more beneficial to educate them about proper use by registered patients, as opposed to letting them discover marijuana through illegal, black market sources who may be inclined to push your children to try harder substances. Regulation is far safer for children than banning marijuana. Marijuana is readily available in the Walpole community already and i believe it's about time we take the power away from black market sources and give it to the people!

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