Dear Gov. Charlie Baker, Mayor Marty Walsh, and House Speaker Robert DeLeo:
It will come as no surprise to you or your staff members that the publishers of DigBoston are also behind the New England Cannabis Convention (NECANN), held this coming weekend at the Hynes Convention Center. This alternative newspaper has held politicians accountable for their actions and remarks on marijuana more than any other outlet in town, and for years we have encouraged officials and business folk alike to study up on the industry.
You have failed to heed our warnings. Learn a thing or two about cannabis, we have suggested, or run the risk of looking like significant dumbasses later on. Though the mayor’s behavior routinely reveals that he is blinded by a crude stubbornness on this issue, this past week all three of you exalted leaders stumbled face-first in the stupid pile with your Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts. As such, we thought to offer you free admission to NECANN, along with a chance to make friends in and amends with the growing cannabis community.
At the very least, this could be a substantial opportunity for you to conduct up-close opposition research. Because if you really plan on hobbling the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol and its ballot initiative to legalize green once and for all, you’ll want to aim beyond the relatively tiny circle of stereotypical stoners. Between the vendors, speakers, volunteers, and organizers there will be a healthy mix of students, doctors, lawyers, activists, and scientists. Since your hope is to convince a majority of residents that legal weed will hurt more than it will help them, it’s in your greatest interest to deceive across the entire gamut of voters, from a kaleidoscopic variety of patients to casual users from all walks of life to medical professionals and caregivers. We see your coalition is comprised of addiction specialists and law enforcement officials, and you can bet that there will be plenty of attendees from both of those professions as well, albeit ones who are enlightened and who actually acknowledge the prevailing research.
We also hear you’re raising money for your anti-legalization efforts. I doubt that many of them are willing to cut you a check for such nonsense, but there will definitely be an army of investors and entrepreneurs on hand. Since you’re all impressed by power brokers with deep pockets, maybe you will listen to what the millionaires walking the floor at NECANN have to say. They’ll tell you that you’re fighting a ridiculous battle and that you might as well just burn all the donations your hapless prohibitionist campaign raises.
Finally, you shouldn’t come merely to get trolled. You should come to learn from the dozens of presenters and vendors who represent everything from grow equipment manufacturers to solar power providers to smart farming companies to marijuana testing facilities. It’s an impressive group, and unlike politicians who purport to know what’s best for everyone despite not knowing a damn thing, they’re hardly a judgmental bunch.
P.S. While you and other pols are trying to turn back the clock on progress, people who already work in the pot economy are moving full speed ahead in tackling critical issues in their industry. After NECANN, you should dispatch aides from all your legislative staffs to attend Shades of Green, a free event on Monday, April 25, at the UU Urban Ministry in Roxbury. According to hosts from the group Supernova, the “evening was created in response to the clear need for involvement of communities of color in the advocacy efforts regarding cannabis and how to participate in the cannabis market being created in Massachusetts.”