MA: East Bridgewater Voters Ban Recreational Marijuana Shops By A Small Margin

Photo Credit: Marc Vasconcellos

Recreational marijuana shops were banned in town Saturday by a small margin.

With about 18 percent of voters turning out for the election, the ballot question on whether to ban recreational marijuana sales was affirmed by a vote of 900 to 848 in unofficial tallies released by interim Town Clerk Susan Gillpatrick.

There were also two other contested races on the ballot.

In a battle for a seat on selectman’s seat, Carole Julius 1,127 defeated John Margie handily, 1,127 votes to 611.

The town assessor’s race was much closer with winner John Cullinan garnering 830 votes and David Lincoln Phillips receiving 726 votes.

“We were very busy, I would say more than normal,” Gillpatrick said earlier in the day. “There has been a big mix of people. Usually we see mostly older people, but there have been people of all ages coming in. I think the reason being is because of the contested races and the marijuana question on the ballot.”

In what sometimes was a bitterly contested race, East Bridgewater becomes the latest town in the Brockton area to ban recreational marijuana.

Abington, West Bridgewater and Whitman have imposed moratoriums while Avon and Easton will vote on their own measures later this month. Other towns in the area are studying the issue further.

Brockton is currently looking into a zoning plan that would allow for pot shops downtown, away from residential areas in the city.

Massachusetts voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana by ballot referendum during the 2016 general election by a margin of 53 percent to 46 percent. The state previously decriminalized possession of small amounts of the substance in 2008 and legalized it for medical use in 2012.

Legal sales are slated to begin statewide on July 1. The Cannabis Control Commission, the state board charged with overseeing legal marijuana, on March 7 rolled out a regulatory infrastructure for new markets.