By now most people are aware that the new Mayor of Boston, Martin Walsh is in recovery from alcohol dependence. He has not made this a secret and in fact it may be one of the reasons he was elected. There are a lot of people involved with “the program” as AA is called and they tend to be very supportive of each other.
Mayor Walsh is an intelligent man and he is able to see that the current legislation supporting “medical marijuana” is simply a movement toward eventual full legalization of possession and use of the drug. Discussions of “alleviation of pain” and the “needs of the poor sufferers” are seen as spurious. Walsh is not afraid to call it as he sees it and he has been increasingly public in his opposition to the new legislation.
Although he must uphold the laws of the Commonwealth and, as of the last election, this includes the establishment and operation of medical marijuana clinics in Massachusetts, Walsh is employing every mechanism available to him, as leader of the largest city, to slow down the implementation process.
Permitting, licensing, hearings and review could stall the opening of any medical marijuana clinics in Boston for a year or two. This might be long enough for some of the private business entities, among them Good Chemistry of Massachusetts and Green Heart Holistic Health to abandon their business plans and go away.
A similar effort is playing out on the state level. Governor Deval Patrick, a very experienced corporate lawyer, is using the legal system to attempt to address what is now called an “opiate epidemic” in the Commonwealth. Patrick has gone to court to block distribution of a powerful new opiate called Zohydro, even though its distribution and sale has been approved on the Federal level. Zohydro is embroiled in controversy. The FDA approved the drug even though it has been opposed by 29 states. The FDA’s own scientific advisory panel voted 11 to 2 against the drug’s approval.
It is unclear why the FDA is supporting a drug that has so much opposition. What is clear, is that Governor Patrick and Mayor Walsh are some of the voices of reason in the fight against drug addiction.