Framingham Airs Marijuana Restrictions

Framingham Airs Marijuana Restrictions
Posted by CN Staff on January 07, 2009 at 06:57:02 PT
By Matt Byrne, Globe Correspondent
Source: Boston Globe
Framington, MA -- Officials last night took an initial step toward making Framingham the first town in the state to ban smoking marijuana in public.The Board of Health detailed at its hearing last night how it wants to add smoking marijuana in restaurants, offices, or other public places to the town's antismoking ordinance, which imposes a fine of $50 for smoking a cigarette or cigar in public.
Backers say the ban would protect people from the harmful effects of THC-laced secondhand smoke, which, according to the measure, could cause severe discomfort and illness to nonsmokers, or aggravate allergies of those exposed to the smoke.The ban being considered would also fine the owner of the establishment $100 for a first offense and $200 for a second. A third offense would cost $300 and the possible loss of any town-issued permits.Speaking in opposition was James Pillsbury, who said he was a 39-year marijuana smoker."Cannabis smoke is not nearly as lethal as tobacco," Pillsbury said, asserting that carcinogenic additives in cigarettes are the source of the harm of second-hand smoke.But Nelson Goldin, a board member, responded, "There is no reason to allow marijuana smoke in a restaurant or a place of public meeting."The health board will hear more from the public during its Jan. 20 meeting, when it is expected to vote on the measure.The passage of Question 2 in November, which made possession of less than an ounce of marijuana a civil offense punishable by a $100 fine, left open the question of public use of the drug. In response, the state released guidelines suggesting that individual communities deal with the issue."We will err on the side of caution, and that's our job," said Goldin, adding that enforcement of the provision is a police issue.The town's Police Department could not be reached for comment.Donald J. Wilson, director of the state municipal tobacco control technical assistance program, also attended the meeting and suggested the town add provisions to makes its antismoking ordinance in line with the statewide antismoking law, which has higher penalties.Source: Boston Globe (MA)Author: Matt Byrne, Globe CorrespondentPublished: January 7, 2009 Copyright: 2009 Globe Newspaper CompanyContact: letter globe.comWebsite: Articles:Massachusetts Police Chiefs Legalize Marijuana Boston Goes To Pot
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