To the Editor:
Last November a Special Town Meeting was held at ORRHS to address whether we wanted to change the zoning by-laws thereby allowing Mattapoisett to be the Southeastern Massachusetts wholesale cultivation and distribution HUB for the marijuana industry.
We work hard every day along with the police, schools, churches and others to create a safe environment for our children. How ironic would it have been if, while telling our children on one hand not to bully, steal, cheat, smoke, be promiscuous, or do alcohol or other drugs, we returned home that night and told them “Oh, by the way, we just voted to make Mattapoisett the cultivation and distribution HUB for the marijuana industry.”
What an example we would have set and “yes” it’s by example they learn … by watching what we do … not by what we say.
We are our children’s Sentinels…teaching them what’s right and wrong. This won’t ensure success in life, but it will give them the best chance to be happy in a World fraught with harmful temptations.
I was lucky enough to have parents that led by example. My Father was a revered member of the Mattapoisett Police Department and my Mother a beloved teacher. The older people in Town tell me they remember them well. These same people created the Town we know today…a Town that could have been the model for the saying “it takes a village.”
Now, while we are home with our children during the pandemic we have a great opportunity to help them make sense of the World. We may never have the chance again to impart the virtues, skills, knowledge and culture of our individual families to them.
You know that night at ORRHS the proponents’ attorney gave a polished presentation urging us to use a “thoughtful approach” and pass the Article while also claiming the Town stood to make a lot of money.
Then the Town Meeting Members spoke. Maybe they weren’t quite as practiced as the attorney, but they spoke with common sense and “yes”… spoke thoughtfully too.
One man told us his daughter said she did “not want to even drive by Industrial Drive again” if we voted to allow this drug center to be built there.
Another Member questioned the accuracy of the figures comprising the projected financial windfall the Town would realize as he methodically dismantled their whole financial argument.
A young man spoke last… enthusiastically supporting the Article and use of marijuana in general saying that whatever our generation thought was really “irrelevant” … marijuana was here to stay.
I wanted to tell him, “No, actually we’re all relevant and will be so long after we’re gone … to our families, communities and country. The fabric of our lives is woven from the fine threads of all our acts and deeds, past and present. They’re the same notes comprising the songs that play in the background of our daily lives. Families move here to contribute and enjoy these songs.”
No one argued with him because we knew that when he has his own children he’ll see things differently and he will be their Sentinel too as he tries to make sense of the World for them and steel them against other harmful temptations not yet imagined.
After all our discussions the vote was taken. The Members resoundingly voted to defeat the Article thereby sending the clear message that we did understand the negative effect it would have had on Mattapoisett, that we were completely aware our children were watching this vote and just as importantly … our Town was not for sale.
They get their values from us. Stay the course.
Bob Moore, Mattapoisett
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