Bourne Voters Reject Recreational Pot Ban

BOURNE – There was a great deal of confusion at Monday night’s Special Town Meeting in Bourne.

Apparently repetitive articles, procedural issues, and additional motions made on the floor led to visible frustrations among voters as they considered the future of recreational marijuana in the Town of Bourne.

In the end, they voted to oppose an article which would have banned recreational marijuana in the town. The zoning article would have banned the growth or sale of non-medical pot anywhere within the town.

Town officials had originally hoped to indefinitely postpone the measure. Upon making that motion, finance committee member Richard Lavoie told attendees they needed more time to examine what revenue might be lost by refusing the businesses, and what costs may be associated with either a ban or approval.

Bourne already has a temporary moratorium in place which will last until November, allowing officials that additional time to explore the issue.

But voters wanted action. Throughout the lengthy debate, speakers on both sides of the issue insisted not on a delay, but on an immediate up or down vote on the matter.

Once that was determined and an indefinite postponement was defeated, 16 voters demanded that the final vote be conducted through secret ballot, rather than a simple head count.

Surpassing the fifteen vote requirement to demand a secret ballot, the request was approved, much to the chagrin of the majority in attendance who appeared to feel that the matter had absorbed enough time already.

“Are we going to allow Bourne to become the Amsterdam of the Cape?” asked a supporter of the ban.

Forty minutes later it was determined, and the no supporters declared victory. It’s unclear where things go from here as the temporary moratorium remains in place until November, but there will be no ban.

Town officials will now look into how to proceed.

“I expect that a working group will be put together,” said Town Administrator Tom Guerino,

“The planning board, people from the health department, experts on both sides of the field. We’ll do some economic analysis of this as well and try to move to a town meeting in September.”

Also at the meeting, residents voted unanimously to allocate $452,000 in insurance money to go toward repairs and upgrades to the Veteran’s Memorial Community Building. The facility had suffered extensive damages during one of this winter’s storms. It is expected that work on the center will get underway right away and last for several months.

By DAVID BEATTY, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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