Now that recreational marijuana is legal, small communities, like Oxford, are in the position of determining the impact on the area. There are uses for marijuana in medicine and it has benefited many, but recreational use is different.
Adding a storefront dispensary to Washington Street, downtown area, would pose significant problems and require resources that this small community does not have and cannot fund. Dispensaries have large amounts of cash on hand, making them require additional security, such as cameras and security personnel. Long lines of eager customers standing outside, increase in vandalism, property crimes, littering, shoplifting and other disturbing activities have been reported in communities now stuck with the marijuana trade. In New England, traffic problems arose from the recent opening of dispensaries.
The aforementioned concerns just touch the surface. How about property values of those businesses downtown and our lovely little Centennial Park? Would you want your business next to a dispensary?
The black market for marijuana will not be eradicated with dispensaries, Colorado has found that it has remained a flourishing activity, according the law enforcement.
I doubt the community of Oxford would reap any financial benefits worth the long-term impact felt by allowing a dispensary. This goes beyond growing plants and recreational use.
The people voted for legalization and Oxford needs to think real hard and use all of the resources available, including the public and law enforcement, before making a decision that would have such an impact. Stand outside a dispensary, watch and learn.
As for money coming back into the community to fund education and fix roads, we have heard this before, remember all that lottery money that was supposed to fund education? No perceived amount of money is worth being held hostage by a poor decision.
Susan K. Johnson