UNDERMINING THE MARIJUANA BALLOT VOTE

It’s surprising how tolerant we seem to be of all the tinkering with the people’s decision to legalize marjjuana. The ballot measure, passed by a convincing majority of 54% to 46%, is called a “law” in a recent AP article and yet state lawmakers (and police chiefs) are treating it like a very rough draft subject to a lot of editing, most of which will have the effect of weakening it. Sheer prejudice against pot seems to be the dominant attitude among those in charge of implementing the law. Instead of: “OK, the people really want this, let’s make it happen” it’s: “Damn, now we have to save them from their own foolishness.”

There was a story in early December on a possible Falmouth ban on recreational pot stores. The police chief (all police chiefs seem to regard themselves as ex officio protectors of the public against its own vote) warned against locating one downtown. Will families want to come downtown to check out the town’s Christmas tree display with pot stores in the vicinity? Christmas trees and liquor stores, of course, no problem, even if alcohol always shows up in studies as far more of a social menace.

We’re comfortable with alcohol. Despite all the drunk driving and home-wrecking statistics, booze has installed itself amongst us as the accepted way of softening the hard edges of life. Pot, on the other hand, is seen by some, including apparently many of those trying to undermine the ballot initiative, as vaguely subversive of our whole way of life, like the ‘sixties “counterculture” of which it was the drug of choice.


One cheer for compartmentalism

Watching pro football is not like the ancient Romans watching gladiators killing each other in the coliseum. But it’s not so very different either. Especially now that we know the systematic, longterm, life-shortening physical toll taken on players. Nevertheless, I notice that I go on rooting for the Pats. A part of me shows up […]


Resolutions. And counter-resolutions

While a lot of us are making our annual resolutions to lose weight, the president-elect has been resolving on a larger scale. Reverse the Affordable Care Act, make climate change denial the country’s official policy, circle the wagons against the alien threat, and, in some strange dance with his Russian counterpart, take us back to […]


Cumberland Farms winning the battle vs. Wellfleet

Maybe it’s legal. But it’s wrong. And Bad. A company shouldn’t be able to ride roughshod over the wishes of a whole town. A few years ago, Cumberland Farms petitioned the Town of Wellfleet to enlarge the existing store on Route 6 and add a gas station. At a well-attended hearing, citizens were overwhelmingly opposed […]


Rendering unto Trump at Christmastime

The last two years I broke with my tradition and didn’t do a holiday season column. Last year I felt I needed to write on the reaction to the Paris terrorist attacks. The year before it was a local racism issue that bumped Christmas from this space. And now, with Trump ruling our attention, my […]


Kline settlement hastens death of the town

So the Kline house controversy is finally settled. For $3 million the new owners will get to live in the house after all, whenever they happen to be in town. According to the “Banner” story, “most of the selectmen appeared to have agonized over the decision.” The town had already spent a lot in legal […]


WHAT WILL HAPPEN? WHAT WILL WE DO?

Has ever a president-elect been held in such contempt by such a large portion of the electorate? These feel like dangerous times. Those signs protesting “F**k Trump” and “Not My President”–suddenly it seems not unreasonable to ask: are we becoming one of the many countries whose violence, instability and inability to govern themselves we’ve always […]


“Community”: a shallow premise for planning

A few days after the election, 80 or so of the most civic-minded Wellfleetians took time out from anguishing over the Future According to Trump to take up what seems a more manageable topic, the future of our own town. The idea was to crowdsource ideas to be incorporated in the latest update of our […]


AI : thinking about the end of the human era

Don’t look now, but while our attention is being distracted by all the media focus on climate change, there’s a much more ominous threat on the horizon: artificial intelligence ( AI). Unlike climate change, AI is not an unintended consequence of technology but something fellow humans are working hard to bring about. The goal the […]


7.4 MILLION DOLLAR POLICE STATION OUT OF PROPORTION

The 7.4 million dollar re-build of the Wellfleet police station that is about to be rubber-stamped at a Special Town Meeting Tuesday is a quantum leap in police station infrastructure in a town whose population has for 15 years or so plateaued. All indications are that, if anything, the population will not rise in the […]