The Massachusetts District Attorneys Association sent a letter to the pot panel saying it is “jeopardizing public safety.”
“Immediately allowing marijuana in restaurants, coffee shops, theaters, spas and yoga studios is irresponsible, ill-informed and dangerous,” the letter reads. “If, at the onset, the Commission authorizes these unintended businesses, then there will be no turning back!”
Michael O’Keefe, district attorney for the Cape and Islands, said those businesses could still be allowed later, but the commission is only required to set up rules for dispensaries by July. He agreed with Baker and Walsh that anything further should wait.
“The law says you must do these things and may do these other things — we’re suggesting, let’s do the must ones first and do them well, then we can get to the may ones,” O’Keefe said. “Let’s take a walk before we run approach.”
Many marijuana advocates have pushed for delivery and social consumption as avenues that would make it easier for people with medical marijuana prescriptions to smoke and for small businesses to join a billion-dollar industry — and come out of the illicit market, according to Jim Borghesani, a pro-marijuana advocate who worked on the legalization campaign.
“I have no doubt that the commission will consider all viewpoints and make wise decisions based on the voters’ wish for a regulated, safe cannabis system,” Borghesani said. “As with any strong-demand product, what isn’t offered by the regulated market will be offered by the illicit market. That’s a truism that may not be sufficiently recognized by the DAs’ association.”