There have been many stories over the past few months about towns deciding how to address non-medical marijuana sales once the state develops its own rules. Some towns are enacting a moratorium, some have banned it, and others like Hallowell are carefully moving ahead with new ordinances (“Hallowell council moves sidewalk art, adult-use marijuana ordinances forward,” Oct. 9).

Each town has the right to make its own decision, which is fine with me. However, I am perplexed by some towns prohibiting sales within 1,000 feet of schools. Are there similar restrictions for stores, bars and restaurants that sell alcohol? Not that I am aware of. And as it is now, adults can even drink alcohol outside at many restaurant patios where children can watch. For shame.

What exactly is the purpose of a distance restriction? I understand towns restricting sales to commercial districts, for example, or limiting the number of retail marijuana stores allowed. Sadly, I think the school restrictions go way back to when I was a kid in the 1960s and the myth was that “pushers” hung around schools to sell drugs to innocent school children. This scenario simply does not exist. I would guess that all drug use (and alcohol use) by youth is triggered by peer pressure, emotional struggles or the basic interest in trying something that is forbidden.

Folks, there are no marijuana-pushing strangers out there. Let’s regulate it using common sense.

Keith Taylor


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