Haverhill women and cannabis advocates from across the state are set to rally behind city small business owner Caroline Pineau as she continues her quest to open a retail marijuana shop on Washington Street.
Marblehead’s Mike Crawford plans to host a live taping of his Saturday morning politics and cannabis-centric Young Jurks podcast June 8 starting at 11 a.m. outside of Mark’s Deli, 2 Railroad Square, in an effort to bring attention to the lawsuit deli owner Stavros Dimakis has brought against Pineau.
Crawford, who uses cannabis medically, tells WHAV he believes the suit is a form of “extortion” and wants Haverhill residents to be aware of what he calls potentially far-reaching ramifications. When he’s in the Merrimack Valley this weekend, Crawford intends to act on behalf of the hundreds of local medical marijuana patients he’s seen benefit from the drug, including his late friend Michael L. Malta.
“The reason I’m involved is because this lawsuit affects everybody in the state. If they’re successful, this could wipe out medical cannabis and wipe out legalization,” he said.
“We’re out to educate about why we’re not happy about what Mark’s Deli is doing and we’re sick of the stigma and bigotry the three businessmen are pulling.”
As WHAV exclusively reported this week, City Council candidate Dimakis, along with Lloyd Jennings and J. Bradford Brooks, filed suit May 30 in Land Court contesting the validity of zoning for Pineau’s proposed marijuana shop at 124 Washington St. The case has since been moved to federal court, with the plaintiffs intending to argue the federal criminality of marijuana in the U.S. District Court for the First District, according to their original filing.
Graciela Trilla is among those planning to support Pineau along with the local advocacy group Haverhill Citizens for Women-Owned Businesses.
Trilla is angered by what she calls the “old guard” trying to silence Pineau three years after Haverhill voters legalized marijuana.
“No one has the right to shut down a young woman who is brave enough and has done the legwork—everything in her purview—to make this a success. We need to work with and embrace our neighbors and what she is bringing is in demand by this city,” Trilla told WHAV. “These men are trying to bully and drown her out in court when this city voted for it.”
Pineau’s special permit hearing before the City Council is scheduled for June 18.