Councilor LaPlante Calls for Marijuana Dispensary Moratorium Vote in Lawrence


laplante-wilsonLAWRENCE, MA: The Lawrence City Council will hold a public hearing, followed by a vote at its Chambers on April 2, 2013, to determine whether the city will place a six month moratorium to prevent medical marijuana dispensaries to be placed within its borders. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is finalizing its regulation of the dispensaries.

Lawrence City Councilor Marc Laplante, who originally sponsored a strict zoning change to regulate the dispensaries’ placement, said that the moratorium made sense as the State concludes its regulatory process.

“While the State Court has already ruled that permanently banning these dispensaries is illegal,” said Laplante, “the Court did rule that communities may prohibit locating dispensaries for a reasonable amount of time after the Commonwealth makes their final regulations. Adopting a temporary moratorium makes sense.”

Lawrence was one of only two communities in Massachusetts that opposed the 2012 “use of marijuana for medicinal purposes” ballot question.

“My original proposal takes into account Lawrence voters’ opinion that they do not want these dispensaries in the city,” stated Laplante. “It also takes into consideration the Court’s ruling to approve temporary bans while severely limiting where the dispensaries can be located.”