Friday, October 23, 2009

Becky's letter to the Newspress - GREAT JOB

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Letters: Voice outrage over medical pot shops

October 23, 2009 7:22 AM

This is re: the Oct. 14 front-page article "Bad vibes?" It is good to read and to believe that others also are outraged by things that might potentially harm our youth. In this case, the fear of "electromagnetic waves" from a proposed cell antenna near Montecito School.

Another issue Santa Barbara residents should be outraged about is the proliferation of cannabis dispensaries in our city. Many people have voiced their concerns at City Hall meetings, including our school superintendent, a junior high principal, Housing Authority officials, Girls, Inc. director, and many professionals in the field of drug addiction and rehabilitation.

Our city officials seemingly had such a nonchalant attitude on this matter that a group of citizens from the Eastside and Westside banded together to protect our children and neighborhoods by appealing permits issued to the dispensary entrepreneurs. The residents worked on revisions to the Marijuana Dispensary Ordinance and submitted them to the Ordinance Committee.

The dispensaries' applicants/owners are in it for the monetary, not the compassion. Why are so many interested in opening dispensaries in our city? Money. Dispensaries are being opened in our neighborhoods near our schools, parks, day care centers, etc. If they are to dispense medicinal cannabis, why not have them in the Cottage Hospital and/or Sansum Clinic areas? Surely, there are vacant offices there.

My hope is to have zero in our city. However, city officials have opened the floodgates while other cities along the coast said no. Another hope is that more local residents become outraged about the marijuana dispensaries that are popping up all over our city. Years ago, we were in denial about gangs in Santa Barbara and look what happened. Let's not be in denial about the cannabis dispensaries .

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