Letter: Pot shop in town center could ruin Bowdoinham's character – pressherald.com

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I am mortified that our town planning board would even consider allowing the intent of a resident to transform his construction of a bed & breakfast into a “pot shop” — in the center of town.
My family moved here in the ‘70s to escape the suburban sprawl that previous military postings had exposed us to and, as a native of Chicago, my father felt he had finally found the right place to raise our family and plan for his retirement. A small, safe country town that shared his values. If he were here today you would see him standing up at the Town Meeting making one of his speeches about “fighting the good fight” for the sake of our children.
As an ER nurse and a mother of two millennial children, I know what a pot shop/ head shop/ marijuana dispensary is. I know and understand the stats/economics/chemistry. And I know I don’t want one in the center of my town. I acquired property, built a house, raised my kids and commuted to work — I wouldn’t have considered doing that here if I saw a head shop in the middle of town.
It breaks my heart to think of the current long-term, permanent residents living there, who believed they had found their little bit of heaven and now face the destruction of that life. I value the cats, dogs, children and Guinea hens strolling the streets and the quiet gardens admired by neighbors walking by.
I have been in discreet, well-run, dispensaries frequented by responsible adults. And then, there are the sleazy corner places that basically have a dealer in a run-down storefront. Which will we get? Who determines that? Who follows up? No guarantees. And the idea that it is a “big moneymaker” for the town — please. Does this fellow have a respectable and legitimate history running this type of place?
If Bowdoinham must allow this guy to start his business, have it out of town. We must take a stand to protect our way of life and the future of our town.
Lara Pertel-Ashouwak,
Bowdoinham
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