Council Slows Down on Recreational Marijuana Ban

By Sue Ellen Woodcock

The Revere City Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. regarding a proposed ban on recreational marijuana shops.

The council decided to slow down the process when it comes to banning pot shops and the sale of recreational marijuana in Revere.

Last week Council Vice President Patrick Keefe proposed a ban, and it passed without going to a committee or a public hearing. But this week, Keefe slowed down, faced with a motion to reconsider last week’s vote. Reconsideration had been filed by Councillor Anthony Zambuto and Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky. The motion to reconsider failed, but the council did move to hold a public hearing. Ultimately it will be the mayor who approves or disapproves a ban.

“I’m against any type of marijuana,” Keefe said, adding that he’s very passionate about a ban and took it to heart.

Councillor George Rotondo, who was absent from last week’s vote, said the council needed to follow protocol so the city doesn’t end up with a lawsuit. Ward 3 Councillor Arthur Guinasso said protocol was followed.

“This could withstand a challenge in court, we did everything the right way,” Guinasso said.

“I tried to send this to committee (last week), but no one would listen to me.”

This week the council also received a legal opinion from City Solicitor Paul Capizzi regarding a potential ban. Capizzi said the council may ban the sale of recreational marijuana in Revere, but it may not prevent an already license medical marijuana facility from converting to a recreational marijuana facility.

“Please bare in mind this is new territory,” Capizzi said.

Capizzi went on to say that communities like Revere, which voted against Question 4 on the Nov. 2016 ballot. But 10,184 Revere voters disapproved and the question failed in the city. Some thought that because it failed locally that the city would not be subjected to shops selling recreational marijuana.

One concern the council has is the medical marijuana facility on Railroad Avenue, which has been licensed for medical marijuana and legally may convert to selling recreational marijuana. The law allows for a local surcharge of up to 3 percent on the sales of recreational marijuana.

“I’m glad this will go to a public hearing,” said Councillor Jessica Gianinno. “Last week was too quick.”

“In the future we should take a step back, and let it go to committee where we’d discuss it with the solicitor,” Zambuto said.

4 comments for “Council Slows Down on Recreational Marijuana Ban

  1. concernedcitizen
    October 11, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    What exactly is the city council afraid of? Both Colorado and Washington have had legalized marijuana for several years with ZERO increase in teen use. Why? Because teens cannot buy from recreational shops, just like they can’t buy alcohol from liquor stores. If you visit, you will see there are security guards at every rec shop in Colorado who check IDs before they even let anyone in the shop – much more policed than any liquor store I have been in. Moreover, they aren’t allowed to have windows, so no one can see any of the products (including the edibles) from the street.

    Honestly, do you want to know what stoned people do? Mostly just quietly hanging out/chilling and not causing problems. People create artwork, go for hikes, relax and watch tv, or just eat a nice meal. If anything, stoned people are much less of a problem than those under the influence of alcohol or prescription drugs. Finally, weed is legal here in Mass. now. Why is the Revere city council so intent on destroying the harmless relaxation those who LEGALLY use marijuana choose to partake in? It’s kind of silly and is just a waste of time. Instead of complaining about this, why not take a little puff and calm down? Life is too short to spend hours and hours fighting reality and (literally) killing everyone’s high.

  2. Danny Reagan
    October 12, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Your logic is flawed just like everyone else that is in favor of the sale of marijuana in Revere. No one is saying that it is not legal. The council is carrying out the will of the majority of voters who voted NO on question four last November by opting out of allowing it to be sold in the city. There are some people that care about the reputation of Revere. Keep in mind that marijuana is still illegal on a federal basis and is classified as a Schedule 1 drug. How does that effect whether or not the Federal Food and Drug Administration inspects marijuana that is sold for recreational use?

  3. Frank G. DeAngelo
    October 13, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Interesting thought concerning the fact that marijuana is illegal at the federal level. Does that mean the pot stores cannot put money from the sale of pot in banks because they are part of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation? What about truck drivers that have Commercial Drivers Licenses that are regulated buy the Department of Transportation which is a federal entity. What about the tax money that pot stores will be paying to the state and cities? Is that considered money laundering? I don’t know the answers, I’m just wondering because this is all new territory.

  4. Mike Hemeon
    October 14, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Let them go to the next towns. After all, Revere has it reputation to uphold. LOL!

    Prohibition was a bid success.

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