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Speakers ask city to stand against marijuana sales

OCEANSIDE — Speakers at Wednesday’s council meeting asked the city to stand against recreational marijuana sales, after voters passed recreational use statewide.

One group asked council members to ban all marijuana sales, another group asked that recreational marijuana sales be outlawed and medical marijuana access be broadened.

Over two dozen teens from North Coastal Prevention Coalition anti-drug clubs stood together at the podium to oppose recreational marijuana.

One student shared his concerns.

“Hearing they’re legalizing this, gets me confused,” the Oceanside High School student said. “If they (teens) hear it’s normal, they’re going to want to keep doing this, and might not know the consequences.”

The North Coastal Prevention Coalition opposes recreational and medical marijuana sales. The organization sees a direct correlation between easier access and increased use by teens.

Erica Leary, North Coastal Prevention Coalition program manager, spoke against lessening restrictions.

She asked City Council to hold firm on its medical marijuana regulations, which allow delivery from licensed dispensaries outside the city, but ban storefront sales and commercial cultivation within Oceanside.

Amber Newman, who is a co-owner with her husband David Newman of a nonprofit medical marijuana nursery, took a different stand.

Newman asked the council to ban recreational marijuana sales, and lift restrictions on medical marijuana sales, lab testing and cultivation.

Newman said smart zoning rules and a limit on the number of medical marijuana dispensaries would benefit patients, and safeguard kids and neighborhoods. She added the city would benefit by receiving annual sales tax.

She and her husband have formed the North County Cannabis Coalition to raise awareness and repeal the city’s medical marijuana ban.

To get a measure on the ballot the group needs to collect signatures from 10 percent of city voters, or about 8,760 signatures.

Council members did not reply to speakers during the meeting’s off agenda comment period.

Following the meeting Councilwoman Esther Sanchez said the City Council might take another look at marijuana dispensaries in spring.

1 comment

Mabel January 5, 2017 at 1:13 pm

Arguments are based on juvenile reasoning and self-interest in limiting competition, neither of which justify changing public policy or enacting bans of any kind.

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