By Sue Ellen Woodcock
The City Council has officially banned the sale of recreational marijuana in the city limits of Revere.
The council has been working since the summer to ban the sale of recreational marijuana, under the leadership of Council Vice President Patrick Keefe, who brought the issue before the council.
“We’ve discussed this since July, and I know it was coming out fast and furious, but in the last few months the council and the city have really looked into this matter,” Keefe said.
Noting that the ban was also checked with local legislatures, and the city solicitor, Keefe said he was comfortable with the council going through with the ban.
“I feel very confident with this,” Keefe said.
Medical marijuana dispensing is still allowed in Revere in a portion of the TED district near Railroad Street, where a company called the Wellness Connection has plans to locate their facility.
Ward 5 Councillor John Powers said he views marijuana as a gateway drug. He believes that without the ban the council is sending the wrong message to the community and young people.
“Making it easily available would be insanity,” Powers said.
Ward 6 Councillor Charles Patch said he has spoken with representatives of the Substance Use Disorder Initiative (SUDI). They discussed the opioid problem, and he learned that medical marijuana might help people get off of opioids.
Ward 3 Councillor Arthur Guinasso said that since the city voted again recreational marijuana that their wishes should be honored and the ban should be put in place. Question 4 on the Nov. 8, 2016 ballot sought to make the recreational use of marijuana legal with 10,184 ’no’ votes and 9,142 ‘yes’ votes.
Councillor Anthony Zambuto, head of the legislative affairs subcommittee, which took up this motion, said he campaigned against legalizing recreational marijuana both locally and statewide. Unfortunately the legislation passed statewide, but the voters of Revere voted against the question.
He added that the city is legally bound to work with the coming medical marijuana facility.
With a unanimous vote the council approved the ban. Councillors Steve Morabito and George Rotondo were absent for the vote