Jay Fleitman: Pot shop causing problems for neighbors

  • Arnon Vered, co-founder of NETA, sells the first edible marijuana candy bar to Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz at 8 a.m. on the first day of legal sales in Massachusetts, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Published: 11/30/2018 9:02:34 AM
Pot shop causing problems for neighbors

Congratulations to Northampton’s pot store for making it on national news by racking up its share of over $2 million in sales with its fellow facility in Leicester during its first five days in operation.

The opening of this facility has caused some real problems in its neighborhood by putting tremendous pressure on local parking. My medical office is one block down from the new recreational pot facility, and since the opening, the limited parking for our building has been filled with cars often sporting license plates from New York and Connecticut.

Needless to say, this has made it very difficult for my patients and clients of the other businesses in the building to find parking spaces. A good part of my practice is for people with lung disease and shortness of breath, who are often unable to negotiate even short distances. So for them and me, this is no laughing matter.

I first put in a call to the police department to see what help was available, and was told that it was only the duty of the police department to manage the traffic near the facility. I then put in a call to the mayor’s office, and I was surprised by the response that I got that was beyond disinterest and bordered on hostility. It was made clear that this was my problem, and good luck to you. The other owners in my building called separately and got the same type of response.

Sorry about putting some rain on the mayor’s parade; after all, the city now has a windfall of its 3 percent tax return on the sale of marijuana, and the mayor did get his photo op buying the first marijuana chocolate sold by the pot shop. Will it take one of my 80-year-old patients hitting the pavement while trying to get to my office from a distant parking space while dragging along an oxygen tank to get the mayor’s interest?

Jay Fleitman, MD
Northampton




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