Zwirko in the patch today patting himself on the back for filing the most asinine order to earmark revenue from the pot shops to... you guessed it... the schools! There’s a nod to enforcement and substance abuse services on there so he doesn’t look like he is completely pandering but it’s totally transparent. What’s worse, he’s proposing to put it all in a separate account so any revenue from the shops will not count in the general fund (as in - not be factored in the calculation of property tax collections).
This is just another example of why I will Vote No on the Override and will never vote for Zwirko for Mayor.
I support the override and will be voting yes. However, I will absolutely not be supporting Zwirko for mayor, alderman or anything else. I voted for him last time around because I thought he was a genuinely community-minded person. (Didn’t live here when he ran before.) But since that time he has shown over and over that he only looks out for himself. Everything he does is with a calculation of what he can gain politically. You can even see it when you speak to him, calculating every word carefully for maximum personal benefit. Slimey.
Glad you can afford an Override put forward by some slimey Aldermen, a slimey Auditor and an Illegitimate Mayor. I do not trust figures put out by any of them. GI is so inarticulate and being manipulated by others. Glad to see that the Melrose Taxpayers Alliance is up and running again!
Why would Zwirko “pose” for Sam Hammar after the One Melrose MORE meeting? Twitter accounts show a really strange photo. The constant need for attention some politicians need is not healthy. SH and MZ deserve each other. Don’t trust what MZ wants to do with pot money proposal either.
We need to have two marijuana shop licenses in town. Route 99 is already in operation as a medical dispensary and the second one should be on main street or in downtown. One store is not adequate to provide the financial taxes that this towns needs. I will not be supporting the override and this is the obvious way to provide our town and schools with the revenue they need without burdening the taxpaying homeowners.
I have been in the law enforcement field for more than 30 years, Marijuana is far safer than alcohol, and prescription opioids. No one in recorded history has ever overdosed and died from abusing cannabis. Hundreds die and overdose from Oxycontin and its generics, Alcohol has ruined many lives. Melrose has allowed bottle shops and restaurants that serve alcohol. how is this any different? There seems to be an irrational fear of a marijuana shop in town. Yet we have several pharmacies all potential sources of abuseable Prescription drugs.
In states that have legalized Marijuana, the abuse of alcohol and opioids has declined. The new revenue could be a significant boon to our town. I call on our alderman to be enlightened and don't make the shortsighted kneejerk reaction and limit Melrose to one store.
Good idea🌱 who would of thought Dope could help make our kids smart!!! 😳
So the four hour meeting on the zoning proposal for the pot shops was epic, it was readily apparent that the ossified alderman had already entered the discussion with there minds made up. They have the nerve to say that we are in dire fiscal straights and back an override that will add an average of 500 dollars to our yearly property tax bill plus the annual 2.5 % increase compounded on top of that.
If we are in such dire financial condition why reject the two recreational pot shops which bring in a guaranteed 3% of sales to our fiscal coffers. They have already backed away from one location in the Washington St area, not smart because Malden is moving to approve one in the same area. We now loose the control over its development and loose the potential source of thousands in revenue which will go to Malden.
Second logical location would be anywhere downtown where there is adequate parking and it will generate foot traffic for other local businesses. I notice that Giacomo's opposed this, of course they dont want there alcohol sales to be cut into, but those sales dont generate the 3% revenue for the town.
The alderman continue to hide behind the children, but lets be real we already allow tobacco sales in town and have approved several bottle shops and allow beer and wine to be served in our restaurants, we are no longer a dry town. In addition at many town events including the summer stroll, beer was flowing in solo cups on our main street. Hypocrites are they all.
That is because the idiot spent his formative years stoned in class and never learned the basics. I love the comments from all the pot heads on the Community Page ranting and raving about the fact that they won't be able to buy their weed in downtown Melrose. Weed makes people stupid...less competition for the rest of us, but I'd still rather see it only sold on Route 99.
I notice the punctuation police come out when you have no valid counter arguments, wake up people its about the money. I refuse to support the override when you are going to leave this easy tax revenue on the table.
Having spent forty years in law enforcement, I have to say that just based on net societal damage, if someone told me I had to outlaw either pot or alcohol, I'd outlaw alcohol in a heartbeat. In all those years, I never once got in a confrontation with a pot smoker. Drunks? That's a whole 'nother story, and was a routine occurrence. How did that work out for us the last time that was tried?
It's going to take awhile for the 85 years of stigma attached to pot to be eliminated, but even having said that, I think Main Street is inappropriate, at least at this time. The Ward 5 location would have been better.
I’m guessing you do not live in 5-1
You'd be right, but what difference does that make? I'm simply stating that the Ward 5 location would have been better than the Main Street locations. Neither is ideal.
Let's take a look at that RICO case (actually 4 different cases) that Mortimer and McMaster referenced. Just Google "Cambridge Pot RICO Case".
These cases were all brought by an abutting property owner. In Cambridge, "The owner of four buildings in Cambridge, Massachusetts alleges that a nearby marijuana business, Healthy Pharms, is a “conspiracy to sell marijuana” that damages the value of the plaintiffs’ property. The plaintiffs also argue that related businesses, the marijuana business’s bank, and various government agencies are part of the conspiracy under RICO because they enable and encourage marijuana businesses in violation of federal law."
"It’s at least the fourth RICO lawsuit from the a neighbor of a marijuana business, and the third from the same law firm. As the ABA Journal reported in November, one of those cases went to the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in June that those plaintiffs could go forward with property damage claims based on the strong smell of marijuana."
"Like the other cases, this one hinges on the fact that most violations of the Controlled Substances Act automatically violate RICO. This permits the plaintiffs to include as defendant co-conspirators a variety of businesses and people associated with Healthy Pharms, including its landlords and its bank. The complaint also includes several government agencies, saying they are part of the conspiracy because they regulate, tax and tolerate Healthy Pharms."
"The plaintiff landlords are represented by Cooper & Kirk, a Washington, D.C. law firm, a law firm aligned with conservative causes that also brought two of the three other lawsuits." Hello - does that tell you anything? "One of those settled; the other, which went to the 10th Circuit, was scheduled for trial in July of 2018. The third, unrelated case has motions to dismiss pending in Oregon federal court."
"Healthy Pharms co-owner Nathaniel Averill told Bloomberg that the lawsuit has already made it harder to find investors. University of Denver law professor Sam Kamin told the Journal in November that this could be the real purpose of the lawsuit. “The [lawsuits] may or may not succeed, but they have the opportunity to inflict great costs along the way,” he said."
In other words, the cases are NIMBY (or NIMFY) taken to the extreme, and that's why the Main Street option was, at least at some level, a bad idea because I have no doubt there is at least one business owner on Main Street that would have been tempted to follow the same route, ridiculous though it may be. The plaintiffs still have to prove the business actually did have an negative effect on property values and potential rentals. While Main Street is business zoned, it's not the same environment as Washington Street, or for that matter Route 99.
Last month, a case known as Rice v. Ambrocio settled relatively quickly, having been filed only five months before. Rice was a waste of time and money, and it’s a good example of why people don’t like lawyers. The 56-page complaint named almost 50 defendants, although not all of them “appeared” in the case and a few were never served. The parties ultimately settled for a $60,000 collective payment to the plaintiffs (a guy who runs an anti-cannabis website, and his partner), which pencils out to a measly $1,200 per defendant on average. Most importantly for defendants, the settlement agreement is non-confidential.
This unimpressive plaintiffs’ outcome should make potential RICO litigants think twice about filing a lawsuit—especially one where it appears that the marijuana activity has all but ended on the defendant property before papers are even filed. Ultimately, if you want to file a complaint in federal court and take on 50 defendants, you are going to burn a LOT of cash just getting the thing filed and served. And, even if you battle your way through months or even years of motion practice, counterclaims, appeals, etc., the likelihood of success may not be great. Which brings us to Colorado.
Earlier this week, we had what may have been the first jury verdict in a cannabis RICO case, and it came down in favor of the cannabis grower defendant. The plaintiffs were represented by a Washington, D.C. law firm with ties to Jeff Sessions, and apparently backed by a national anti-cannabis group known as Safe Streets Alliance. For all of that firepower, however, the plaintiffs could not prove their property value had been damaged by the cannabis grow they despised. The jury believed the defendants’ real estate expert, and reached a verdict relatively quickly in favor of the cannabis business. This case had been going for three years or so, and the plaintiffs had previously had the larger portion of their lawsuit—which sought to invalidate Colorado’s marijuana program entirely—thrown out.
The “no damages” finding by this jury is an extraordinary end to a protracted piece of litigation. When my law firm has potential clients come to us who are interested in filing litigation, we always look at a couple of things right away in addition to whether the claims seem viable. One of those is whether the potential plaintiff has been damaged. If the answer is “yes” (and the possibility of collection seems reasonable) we can usually proceed. But if the answer is “no”, bringing a lawsuit is probably a bad idea, regardless of whether the other side has breached a contract, done something “illegal”, etc.
If juries in cannabis RICO cases are going to find that cannabis production does not diminish the value of nearby properties, and that grower activity does not damage neighbor plaintiffs, these wasteful lawsuits may finally disappear altogether."
Not going to happen, I am in the federal field and every one stays away from this like a hot potato. It would only happen if a state license is violating state rule in a major way or selling out the back door to those under 21.
As far as the RICO case in Cambridge , on the west coast which is years ahead of us on pot legalization the RICO cases have all failed in federal court. so its not a major concern.
Maybe, but one lesson I've learned over the years is that you can't fix stupid, or effectively legislate against it either. Let's face it - some people are just morons.