Fairhaven Selectmen Respect Voters’ Decision [OPINION]
I am not an enthusiastic supporter of legalized marijuana. I voted for the change, but I wasn’t sure if it was the right decision. But I’m an enthusiastic supporter of elections.
The voters of Fairhaven joined the majority of voters to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in 2016. That was a presidential election year, and that is when the largest number of people shows up to vote. There was an aggressive public relations campaign on both sides of the question. Governor Baker, Speaker DeLeo, Boston Mayor Walsh and all of the District Attorneys campaigned against legalization. They ran an ad campaign showing marijuana stores in local strip malls with other businesses.
Since marijuana has been legalized, the town of Fairhaven has proceeded in a deliberate and thoughtful manner to adjust to the change in policy. There have been lots of hearings and meetings on marijuana in Fairhaven. The elected officials have been moving to implement the will of the voters.
A handful of residents are now requesting a do-over election in Fairhaven on legalized marijuana. According to the Standard-Times, five residents came to the Selectman’s meeting recently to request another vote.
They claim that the voters didn’t understand what they were voting on in 2016. They claim people didn’t realize the sale of marijuana would be allowed in Fairhaven if they voted to legalize marijuana.
Let’s break this down and look at it.
Obviously, the people who voted against legalization knew there would be sales of marijuana locally and they didn’t want that, so they voted accordingly. This group in Fairhaven wants us to believe that the people who voted for marijuana didn’t realize that they would be able to buy marijuana locally. They want us to believe that people voted for legal marijuana, but didn’t actually want to be able to purchase marijuana locally even after it became legal. That doesn’t make sense at all.
And how do these activists know what people knew and understood in 2016 when they voted for the policy change? What cosmic intelligence do they possess that the rest us don’t that makes them capable of reading the minds of others?
Of course, they have no godlike ability to read minds. Rather, they believe that people who disagree with them must be ignorant. This lack of respect for the electoral process and the voters’ decision is a dangerous mindset. Attacking elections is an attack on our Republic.
The Fairhaven Selectmen are wise to follow the will of the voters.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.