SEEKONK, Mass. (WPRI) — Residents in Seekonk have voted against a ban on recreational cannabis retailers and grow operations in town.
This is the town’s second time voting on the matter, after residents voted in favor of the facilities last month.
The vote centered around adopting a bylaw that would ban recreational marijuana establishments from conducting business in town. Last month, the vote was counted by a show of hands but town officials decided an official vote must be held as well.
Nearly 2,000 residents participated in the special election, with 704 residents voting against the ban and 496 residents voting for the ban.
“Typical Massachusetts,” Charles Calverly, a long-time Seekonk resident, said. “It’s better to have it regulated, I think.”
Calverly said he voted against the ban Tuesday and would welcome recreational marijuana shops in the town.
“The doctor I go to asked me if I would ever try marijuana and I said, ‘Well, if it would help.’ There’s a lot of people it would help,” he said.
Another voter told Eyewitness News she voted in favor of the ban, saying she doesn’t want to bring marijuana to town. She said if residents want it, they can go elsewhere to get it.
Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of the group Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), released a statement in regards to the vote:
“Pot shops do not help communities. From the impact of lower property values to increased crime and youth drug use, these establishments are great for owners and bad for residents. Making drugs more available, commercialized, and accessible is no community’s best interest.”
The marijuana referendum was the only question on the ballot for the special town election.