Why fuss over legal pot?

Thursday, February 08, 2018

What is it with this divisive Montague mindset? Where do you begin?

Does anyone on the Selectboard read the occasional newspaper, or perhaps, read the writing on the wall? You cannot fill a vacuum of leadership with tax dollars. True leadership is about making difficult decisions efficiently, fairly, and doing what is best for the entire Montague community.

The Montague community is changing every day. New entrepreneurship and ideas are taking root in the rich soil of potential that is Montague. While we are surrounded by cutting-edge communication technology and the cultivation of cannabis, which has been stigmatized here beyond belief. are we to miss out on jobs, and critically needed development, simply because of a lack of leadership? A leadership that has found themselves stuck in the mud while everyone around us is moving forward. The arrow of time pierces the heart of fear, because to time, fear does not exist. Time moves only in one direction, forward.

Putting the cart in front of the horse is not my idea of moving forward with the will of the people. As reported in the Recorder that on Jan. 25, Orange town meeting members “elected to take no action on an article that would have amended the Orange zoning bylaws.” The Recorder article dated Jan. 26 also stated that “people opposed to the moratorium stood up to say it would likely only delay the inevitable, and serve as a headache” to anyone setting up a cannabis facility. An attorney representing a nonprofit organization said the bylaw change would “zone out” the nonprofit organization. It was further reported in the Recorder story that the president/CEO of this nonprofit, also stated that “he and his investors have already spent $150,000 on the facility” he also said that “his nonprofit wants to be a good, helpful neighbor in Orange.”

In a front page article by the Boston Globe on Jan. 30 titled “Old factory, new job: growing pot,” stated that: “Large-scale manufacturing has all but left New England, making it nearly impossible to find tenants (for old factories) ... And unlike manufacturing, the cannabis business will certainly get bigger; industry estimates put annual sales in Massachusetts at a minimum of $1 billion by 2020.”

The pros and cons of cannabis have been discussed over and over again ad nauseam. Resulting in two state laws legalizing medicinal and recreational cannabis. To be honest, I do not know what the hysteria is about. On Avenue A, within the distance of a football field, a properly licensed individual could buy a shotgun at one place, then just a few yards away buy a six pack of beer, a pint of whiskey and a carton of cigarettes. Just a few more yards away, pick up a handgun.

And you are worried about cannabis? Maybe this is a Trumpian mind thing; it just sounds like crazy talk to me. Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail, and at the next special town meeting on Thursday, Feb. 15, we will see the wisdom of Orange’s town meeting members, and take advantage of this new source of much needed jobs and revenue.

Charlie Kelley