With the recent state referendum legalizing adult-use recreational marijuana, we will soon see a proliferation of cannabis stores throughout the city. While a majority of the Cambridge electorate voted in favor of marijuana legalization, and proper use by adults may have recreational and health benefits, we must take care to protect the health of our young people.
An increasing number of recent studies are showing correlations and observational evidence of serious adverse health effects from cannabis use in children and adolescents. The state default buffer zone between a school and a recreational cannabis store is 500ft. However, Cambridge has lowered this number to 325 ft, with little or no consideration for playgrounds, residential neighborhoods, ice cream stores where families and children congregate, etc. Our municipality should be taking a cautious and prudent approach to legislating recreational cannabis. The health and well-being of our children must be our paramount consideration when writing laws governing permitting and zoning of these establishments.