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Opinion: Oceanside ‘Safe Cannabis Act’ is anything but safe

Oceanside voters should be very cautious and skeptical about an initiative currently gathering signatures, backed by the cannabis industry, which would eliminate public input in the cannabis licensing process and bring an unlimited number of pot shops to Oceanside.

Dallin Young, quoted several times in the Coast News article on 2/28, is not a resident of Oceanside.  He is the Political Director of the Association of Cannabis Professionals, whose aim is to empower the cannabis industry.

The claim that an unlimited supply of ‘regulated’ marijuana will drive out the black market is not based on fact.  Every city, state, and country with licensed cannabis retailers continue to battle the black market – from backyard grows to sophisticated drug trafficking organizations, black market weed is unlikely to go away.

And the claim that eliminating the conditional use permit process will help low-income people open pot shops is questionable.  It’s possible, but there is nothing in the initiative restricting who can apply to open a marijuana storefront, including out-of-state marijuana corporations.  It requires the city to issue a local license in any commercial or industrial zone after receiving an application meeting minimal criteria.  Local, small business applicants will have competition, and there are no guarantees they will succeed.

The only distance restriction is being at least 600 ft. from a K-12 school, day-care center, or youth center (Section 5026 of State BCC Regulations). If your home borders a commercial or industrial zone, you will have no input.  If multiple applications are submitted for the same strip mall, the city cannot enforce any limits.  If you operate a dance studio, karate studio, treatment center, or church, you will have no input on how many pot shops open near you.

Voters may have a say in November, but if they approve the initiative, they give up any future say in local control.

As the Adjutant for the North San Diego Young Marines, and Board member of the North Coastal Prevention Coalition, I dedicate countless volunteer hours to helping young people live a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

The Young Marines strengthens the lives of youth by teaching the importance of self-confidence, academic achievement, honoring our veterans, good citizenship, community service, and living a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. The Young Marines promote the mental, moral, and physical development of its members. The program focuses on character building and leadership and promotes a lifestyle that is conducive to being productive members of society.

Here in North County, our unit alone has 65 youth members doing remarkable work for our community. Between Drug Demand Reduction/Education efforts, community events and school presentations, they average over 1,800 volunteer hours every year on drug education and prevention.

The North San Diego Young Marines are the current National Unit of the Year, largely due to raising community awareness on the dangers of drug use, specifically marijuana. We have received numerous proclamations, the San Diego County Red Ribbon Outstanding Prevention Program Award, and National Kiki Camarena DEA Awards.

Increasing marijuana marketing and availability will harm the ongoing efforts of youth throughout our community, not just the Young Marines. Encouraging their friends to be drug-free has been progressively challenging with the passage of Proposition 64, which legalized marijuana for recreational use.

Without a concerted effort to limit the location and number of dispensaries, our kids are at undue risk in a variety of ways. They should be allowed the opportunity for healthy development, without the encroachment of neighborhood pot shops.

Marie Smith is the Adjutant for the North San Diego Young Marines, and a Board member of the North Coastal Prevention Coalition.

About North Coastal Prevention Coalition

Vista Community Clinic serves as the fiscal agent for NCPC grants and contracts. Funded in part by the County of San Diego, HHSA, Behavioral Health Services.


MaLaCoiD March 12, 2020 at 3:14 pm

Open as many cannabis shops as possible! Might be useful to have them near spiritual centers, or competing in close location.

I am concerned about big corporations taking over, and want small business to be primary in this industry.

But alcohol should be taxed much more to pay for the damage it causes.

Sasha March 11, 2020 at 2:29 am

Actually we need to get rid of abstinence councils and regulations. You guys were around at the end of prohibition preaching doom and gloom. You were right, back then, because alcohol is a horrible drug that’s far more impairing that cannabis. Alcohol also makes people fight, beat their wives, drive drunk, think they’re cute, have unprotected sex and illegitimate children, etc. If you want to end the black market, end the roadblocks and allow consumers regulated access, as in liquor stores and other places granted an off-sale alcohol license.

Terrie Best March 10, 2020 at 2:34 pm

At this point if you are opposing safe regulations for patients to get their medicine in safe spaces you are an obstacle to public safety. Please sign the petition/initiative.

Jerry March 10, 2020 at 11:37 am

I’m sure Marie Smith is also fighting to shut down the litany of gas stations, grocery stores, bodegas, movie theaters, etc. that sell alcohol in Oceanside. Given the high number of actual DEATHS directly attributable to alcohol, not doing so would expose her as a pearl-clutching hypocrite whose real motivation is based on reefer madness-style propaganda.

Kalah March 9, 2020 at 11:08 pm

As if marijuana entrepreneurs would come in and open 6 shops in the same strip mall. This “community leader” has no clue about business operations, nor about the facts on youth cannabis consumption. People who don’t educate themselves before speaking don’t deserve to speak.

Sheldon March 10, 2020 at 12:49 pm

We’ve got loads of breweries with people driving around drunk. I’m not worried about pot shops opening up. Save the fake outrage all the while having a stiff one before getting behind the wheel. Please.

OSC March 9, 2020 at 9:19 pm

“Vista Community Clinic serves as the fiscal agent for NCPC grants and contracts.”

— I wonder if NCPC knows VCC provides medical marijuana recommendations to their patients?

Oceanside voted in FAVOR of Prop 64 in 2016 and yet the city still bans dispensaries? Everyone needs to sign the cannabis petition and get this back on the ballot this November! Find a signature gatherer at your local store, or visit 19TEN Oceanside to sign.

CAPITALISM March 9, 2020 at 9:57 am


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