Letter to the Editor

IS this what democracy looks like?

Dear Editor,

Bostonians voted overwhelmingly in 2012 to legalize medical marijuana, and local support has only increased since then, as it has nationwide. Doctors and patients alike have been desperate for an adequate number of dispensaries to open, yet I’ve observed in recent months a disturbing pattern of obstructionism from the small minority of residents who oppose this.

For example, a proposed dispensary at 633 Tremont St. is in an ideal location for patient access and would be run by locals with ties to the community. In response, a vocal minority of residents has pulled out all stops to subvert the will of the majority. Neighborhood groups have artificially packed rooms with their few like-minded friends and have in some cases refused to take a vote when it appeared that support for the dispensary would win. Others have resorted to arcane zoning technicalities and other cynical strategies to thwart implementation of the measure we voted for.

I’m stunned by this level of not-in-my-backyard authoritarianism masquerading as democracy, and Boston must not allow this vocal minority to prevent implementation of the commonsense policy we chose as voters.

Richard M. Atkinson, M.D.

Boylston Street, Back Bay

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