This week we asked people for their opinions on a proposed medical marijuana dispensary in town. The proposal came before the Board of Selectmen several weeks ago but was tabled until the Board could gather more information, particularly from town police and public health officials.

Strikingly, more than the usual number of those we approached chose not to be interviewed.  Typically, many people decline the opportunity on any subject, due to time constraints, concern about their appearance on camera, or other reasons. This time, in addition, some expressed fear of speaking out on a controversial topic. One woman was concerned that it could interfere with her work in the health care field. A man said his way of thinking doesn’t jibe with typical Arlington liberal views.  Others did not specify, but their hesitancy was palpable.

This seems to be an issue where many people will go on record in the voting booth, but not on air. We therefore applaud those who spoke out, bravely, in our interviews. In coming weeks, Selectmen will have the unenviable task of not only publicly speaking their own opinions, but also speaking for the more-silent-than-usual majority.

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November 3, 2015