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Reader Poll: Should Recreational Marijuana Shops be Considered Essential?

Last month Governor Baker issued an emergency order that required all employers who do not provide COVID-19 essential services to close their physical workplaces to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Industries that are exempt include healthcare, public safety, groceries and take-out restaurants, utilities and infrastructure.

The list does not include recreational marijuana shops, which has upset many in the cannabis industry who are asking, if liquor stores are essential, why aren’t dispensaries? Several recreational dispensaries have filed a lawsuit stating that shutting these stores during COVID-19 is “crushing their businesses and hurting public health.”

Groups asking Gov. Baker to reconsider, including the Veterans Cannabis Project, are concerned individuals will turn to seeking out unsafe products on the illicit market.

Gov. Baker said keeping these shops open would draw crowds from other states, going against the COVID-19 mitigation strategy of social distancing and avoiding unnecessary travel. This could further the spread of coronavirus throughout the state.

What do you think? Should recreational marijuana shops be considered essential during the COVID-19 pandemic? Vote in our poll and add your comments in the section below.

(Note: Medical dispensaries are considered essential and remain open for patients with medical ID cards.)

Web polls are unscientific and reflect only those who choose to participate. polls do not have any official significance and are only intended for the interest of our readers.

12 Replies to “Reader Poll: Should Recreational Marijuana Shops be Considered Essential?

  1. I don’t know about “hurting public health” more like hurting their wallets. The reason liquor stores are open is if the state closed them people would be driving up to the NH state liquor stores possibly bringing the virus with them. Opening recreational pot shops would bring people from other states here to MA to get their weed and possibly spreading the virus here.

    1. In regards to liquor stores being open, the rationale as I understand it is that if someone is an alcoholic and can’t get their booze, then when they detox, they could end up in the ER or ICU, tying up medical resources needed to fight the virus.

      1. Growing up in the NE I know for a fact that pharmacies could sell booze for “medicinal purposes” I doubt that still goes on ? I had to show an ID to buy a particular brand of cough syrup. Alcoholics & junkies would drink the cough syrup like water because it had a high alcohol content. The junkies would also shoot up with a product (that I won’t mention by name) and after boiling the alcohol in it what left was opium .

    2. I heard liquor stores are open so that severe alcoholics won’t get the DTs and head for the emergency, which are pretty busy these days.. I hear you can’t become addicted to Marajuana. It’s not a necessity to live, unless they experts are wrong or just very high when said its not addictive.

      1. The “I hear” method is a dangerous way to go through life…who exactly are you “hearing” these things from?

      2. I’ve tried Marijuana as a teenager probably like most kids. From what I have heard from users is the pot of today is much more potent than the pot of back in the day Never smoked it again. Agree that most studies show users can’t be addicted to pot. But if cigarettes cause health problems and cancer one would assume that long time use of marijuana would cause some medical issues. But Willie Nelson is still around still smoking & picking so I don’t know .

  2. Guys. It isn’t complicated and has nothing to do with “medical reasons.”

    Liquor stores are considered “essential” because their trade group exerts significant political power/influence over MA lawmakers. Recreational dispensaries don’t.

    1. Well they tried banning alcohol once before in this country & how did that work out? The state of MA rakes in a lot of revenue $ from the sale of liquor & Cigarettes , plus bars. & restaurants. Now their in the marijuana business, Casinos, throw in the MA State Lottery and they profit from all the vices except prostitution. That’s probably next.

  3. If there are any concerns about lung damage due to smoking marijuana, you can eat it.
    I personally think eating it is better & I have not smoked it in years. It takes longer to affect you,
    but it is well worth the wait, because it calms you down, at least for me it does. There are all
    types of weed. I prefer Indica, which calms you down, and puts you in a nice place, especially
    during these times we are dealing with.

  4. Liquor stores being deemed “essential” is not about alcoholics needing a fix…it’s about one thing…MONEY. I get that and to keep them open to help the owners and keep some people employed. But please don’t put this under the guise of helping alcoholics. Do they give them alcohol in prison? Are they giving alcohol to the homeless who cannot afford alcohol but a large percentage have this addiction?

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