Mashpee Selectmen Approve Non-Binding Pot Question on Spring Ballot

MASHPEE – A non-binding ballot question will be put to Mashpee voters at town election in May asking if they want recreational marijuana shops.

Selectmen recently voted 4 to 1 to include the question on the ballot even though the results will have no legal standing and would be used as a survey before the issue heads to Town Meeting in the fall.

“All we are asking is for an opinion. We are polling more people in the town at getting their opinion,” said Selectman John Cotton. “It doesn’t change the outcome of the town meeting in October, but this is giving us the ability to get a feel for what is the town’s opinion.”

When the legalization ballot question went before state voters in 2016 there were more Masphee residents against legalization. Town meeting voters last fall also approved a one-year moratorium on pot shops which lasts through the end of 2018.

Selectman Andrew Gottlieb, who voted against the ballot question, says it is a waste of time.

“Town meeting is the ultimate arbiter of whether it is allowed or it’s not allowed,” Gottlieb said. “So it doesn’t really matter.”

For towns which had a majority vote against legalization in 2016, the law says that regulations and zoning can only be set at Town Meeting.

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