Opponents of a proposed pot shop on Beacon Street in Brookline, Massachusetts have been vocal in their protests, and now they’re taking a new tack: they say the store would be illegal.
“We know that this particular location is within 500 feet of the McKinley Middle School,” said Paul Warren of the Save St. Mary’s Neighborhood group, which has sent a letter to town officials asking them to cancel the application for Ascend Massachusetts.
Neighbors say the store--which would be located in the former Waxy’s restaurant-- would violate zoning laws because it’s too close to a school.
“I’m a libertarian and I think if you want to smoke pot, have a blast,” said Marge Pothier who lives around the corner. “But not here.”
Neighbors have seen the traffic problems in Leicester where a new pot shop has led to huge congestion, and they worry they’ll be facing the same issues just a stone’s throw from colleges, Fenway Park, and in the middle of a very dense neighborhood.
"Personally I’m open to the idea of it but as a business owner across the street, with already limited parking, have you seen it around here during Red Sox season? It’s insane,” said Nicole Brown.
But despite potential traffic woes, supporters of a pot shop in the area say it would bring business to a vacant storefront.
“Currently this thing sitting here is doing nothing,” said Luke Manory who lives nearby. “If they want to open a pot shop here, I say I’m all for it.”
Some argue as these outlets go up around the state, people need to get used to it.
“Diners, banks, pot shops,” said Sarah Souza-DuBenion. “I think it’s awesome. I’m super excited that we might have a pot shop like right down here.”
Calls to Brookline town officials and Ascend Massachusetts have so far not been returned.
Opponents of the pot shop say more than a thousand people have submitted letters to the town against it.