Grow, Gift, Repair


After meeting with Mayor Thomas M. McGee and City Council President Darren Cyr last week, the church’s pastor Ervin Ochoa, who opposes the legalization and sale of recreational marijuana, said the Christian church plans to appeal the City Council’s vote.

The church has until Monday, 20 days after that decision was signed and filed in the City Clerk’s office, to file an appeal.

“We’re going to have 43 kids across the street at the church,” said Ochoa. “That’s not safe. If they do the same with school safety, (why not) respect the church?”

Ochoa said school-aged kids are at the Breed Street church, which he estimated is about 100 feet from the planned store, about four times a week. He is seeking to have the future business relocated, citing the city’s zoning ordinance, which prohibits marijuana shops from being located less than 100 feet from schools.

He said the city’s interest in the shop appears to be in seeking revenue, rather than public safety, as he believes the store’s sale of “drugs” would bring in more crime.

“If you don’t have appropriate places to put pot shops, maybe eight is too many,” said Ochoa. “Marijuana is something that’s destroying a lot of people’s lives. We already have a drug problem in Lynn. Making it legal is not going to help.”

Although Ochoa said having eight pot shops in Lynn is “ridiculous,” the city is required by state law to have at least that amount, which is based on its approximately 40 package stores.

City Solicitor George Markopoulos said Monday afternoon that no appeal has been filed, but if the church decides to move forward with a lawsuit, he said their “odds of succeeding would be very minimal.”