Citizens weigh in on marijuana dispensary locations – 316 citizens, 685 responses

Jun 11, 2015

After a lengthy application process, the NH Department of Health and Human Services finally gave approval for three companies to operate a total of four medical marijuana dispensaries in the Granite State. In light of the development, the Live Free or Die Alliance posed the question to Facebook members, “Would you welcome a medical marijuana treatment center in your town?”

The answer was an overwhelming yes in a highly focused discussion. A total of 91% of respondents answered the question either directly or with a concurrence, and of these a 91% majority said they would approve of a medical marijuana dispensary in their community with 9% countering that they would not. Of the remaining respondents, only 6% opted to discuss the subject in broader terms while 3% commented on unrelated issues. In sum, 316 citizens participated in the discussion with a total of 685 responses. 

Those expressing support for a dispensary in their community saw a variety of potential benefits. “These centers would be safe places for those seeking alternative medical treatment,” one commenter wrote. “I would certainly welcome it in my depressed economic community,” a respondent stated. “Not only would it decrease deaths from prescription drugs, but it would also provide more healthcare options to my neighbors. And it would create jobs,” another commenter noted. 

Those opposed to the idea saw a proposed treatment center as a liability for their community. “It will just bring more riff raff to cities and towns… absolutely should not be allowed,” one commenter said. “Aren’t there enough problems caused by drunkenness. Do we want to exacerbate the problem with this?” a respondent asked. “That dispensary would get robbed a couple time a week,” one poster predicted. 

The small percentage addressing their comments to broader issues discussed other areas of marijuana law. “This is something that can be accomplished through local land use rules,” one commenter stated. “No anger or violence comes from smoking marijuana... Legalize it already and deal with bigger issues like heroin in NH. That’s a much bigger problem,” another suggested. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

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