Reading in the RJ and Hartford Courant about concerns around legal marijuana shops, one would think that some kind of den of iniquity was coming to town. Many towns, like Wallingford, have already banned shops and there seems to be high anxiety about what will happen if one opens in any CT town or city.
I was in Wellfleet, MA, on Cape Cod for a few days last week. Wellfleet is an affluent town. Out of curiosity I went to a couple of the town’s pot shops (there are at least three) to see if the fears in CT are reality based. I had previously gone with a friend to a shop in Sturbridge.
These shops are much more high end boutique than opium den. There is no danger to children as they are not allowed. IDs are checked before customers are allowed into the locked sales area. If the ID passes muster, you are allowed onto the locked sales floor. Many customers have pre-ordered online and are there to pick up only. Others work with the knowledgeable bud tenders to find a product they like. Again, high end boutique in feel. Before paying for a purchase the ID is checked again and your order bagged up and stapled together. No partaking is allowed in the building or on the premises (parking lot) etc. There are no weirdos hanging around trying to resell to kids. If not for the signage, they look like normal shops or pharmacies.
I hope this brief reality check can calm some of the fears around retail shops in our states. Perhaps town and state officials should be encouraged take a ride over the border to see how marijuana shops have been integrated into communities, rather than acting on fearful old tropes of ‘reefer madness’.
J. DeWolf, Meriden
I am encouraging everyone to support our Democratic candidates: Jan Hochadel, Michael Quinn, Jonathan Fazzino, and Hilda Santiago. Michael and Hilda have a track record of getting meaningful legislation passed and are running for re-election. Jan has years of experience dealing with the state legislature and Jonathan ("Jack") is a Town Councilor for Berlin.
Meanwhile, the Republican candidates apparently have two things to offer misogyny and lies. Joe Vollano said, “Nothing irritates me more than when I hear women say, ‘Stay out of my uterus.’ There is nothing that annoys me more; it is the most ridiculous statement I have ever heard” [“Straight Talk with Joe” podcast, May 8, 2022]. Lou Arata said, “It would seem Trump won the 2020 presidential election by a landslide” [Arata campaign website, louarata.com/category/op-ed, “Nation in Crisis”].
While Vollano tries to take people's rights away and Arata threatens the democracy of our nation by denying the results of a democratically held election, our Democratic slate has been listening to our residents so they can pass legislation that will benefit the people of Meriden.
Please join me in supporting the Democratic slate so we can continue to see progress in Meriden.
Gina Manning, Meriden