Mass. AG To Towns: Medical Pot Whether You Want It Or Not

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(Photo: Laurie Avocado via Wikimedia Commons)
(Photo: Laurie Avocado via Wikimedia Commons)

WBUR's Lynn Jolicoeur reports:

BOSTON — The office of Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has issued a decision that towns and cities cannot enact total bans on medical marijuana dispensaries within their borders.

The decision, released in response to a Wakefield bylaw banning dispensaries in the town, says such a ban would “frustrate the purpose” of the medical marijuana law voters passed through Question 3 on the November 2012 ballot.

The decision, written by Assistant Attorney General Margaret Hurley, director of the Municipal Law Unit, says the law’s legislative purpose “could not be served if a municipality could prohibit treatment centers within its borders, for if one municipality could do so, presumably all could do so.”

Municipalities are, however, allowed to adopt zoning bylaws to regulate dispensaries, according to Hurley.

In a separate decision in response to a bylaw passed by the town of Burlington, Hurley said towns can adopt temporary moratoriums on dispensaries.

See the full WBUR post here.

This program aired on March 13, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

Carey Goldberg Twitter Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.