EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

February 27, 2014

Letter: Learning to live with Haverhill marijuana dispensary

To the editor:

It is going to be OK. That is my opinion after having an initial “knee-jerk” reaction against opening a medical marijuana dispensary here in Haverhill, and especially here where I live, in “God’s Green Acre.”

After speaking before the City Council a few months ago in strong opposition to the proposal, I have since done some homework investigating the pros and cons of a dispensary. Here’s what I did:

1. Looked online for problems associated with the facilities (there are some significant ones) and how they were addressed.

2. Read Healthy Pharms’ state application for a license.

3. Met with the directors/owners of the proposed dispensary.

Surprisingly, I liked these guys, Nathaniel Averill and Paul Overgaag. The two appeared passionate about their endeavor and very professional. They were easy to engage in conversation. It was reassuring as they answered questions as to how you would go about growing and dispensing a medicinal plant, which can have severe effects on the local community if diverted or misused.

Here is what I believe (and am hoping for), so far:

1. Nathaniel Averill and Paul Overgaag are professionals who will run this operation to the strictest and highest standards of an industry which provides necessary medicine for those who seriously need it.

2. There will be a give and take of ideas and concerns for our neighborhood and community.

3. Healthy Farms will become an excellent member of our community and, like businesses such as Covanta and Pentucket Bank, will contribute to the well-being and ambiance of our neighborhood and community, not only monetarily but also by being a willing human presence in making this city a better place to live and work for everyone. Enough said. Things will work out.

Michael D. Schroth

Haverhill

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