Below is the text of a letter we sent to Boston’s Zoning Board of Appeal, signed by our co-chairs.
June 19, 2015
Dear Members of Boston’s Zoning Board of Appeal:
On behalf of the Jamaica Plain Progressives Steering Committee and our members in Jamaica Plain, we write in support of opening the first medical marijuana dispensary at 21 Milk Street in Boston. Access to medical care is an important issue for our neighborhood and every neighborhood in Boston.
A downtown dispensary would be the only location easily accessible by public transportation from Jamaica Plain — and from all Boston neighborhoods. Our neighbors suffering from the conditions medical marijuana is intended to treat do not all have access to cars and indeed some are too ill to drive. For these reasons, a T-accessible dispensary is vital. Jamaica Plain is also home to a Veterans Affairs medical facility, which treats veterans with many serious medical conditions. A downtown dispensary will help provide access to prescription marijuana for veterans in need.
Patients — whether suffering from AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy, or any other number of debilitating conditions — need your immediate action. Currently they remain unable to access an important drug that the law allows them to have. They are living with unnecessary symptoms, such as a lack of appetite and extreme nausea, each day this dispensary is not open. Many children struggling with epileptic seizures require medical marijuana to alleviate their symptoms. Those suffering from these conditions should be able to get safe, regulated strains of marijuana — including strains that can be ingested orally rather than smoked. They should be able to do so without traveling far or needing a car.
This law was passed by voters in 2012, and frankly, it is appalling that in nearly three years, while suffering patients wait the Commonwealth still hasn’t licensed a single dispensary in Boston.
It is particularly troubling that, despite the overwhelming passage of this law, that some members of Boston’s business community, led by the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID), are preventing the care that neighbors in our community require. That a powerful few can prevent the care for those who need it has never represented the values of our city.
Please support the many patients that still struggle daily, by immediately approving a highly qualified applicant for a dispensary at Milk Street. We thank you for your consideration.