For Immediate Release (dated: 11/26/2017)

I applaud City Council for thoroughly discussing and adopting a policy for the safe sale of legal marijuana in Culver City, but question the locations council has approved.

(Culver City) – In my 25 plus years as a resident I cannot recall seeing such a wedge issue (the retail sale of cannabis Culver City) that has put friends and neighbors at odds with each other.

I will not recite studies that support one position or the other as I am confident each councilmember is more familiar than I am as to which study supports his/her position. I think we can be honest with ourselves that there are an equal number of studies that could be used to either support allowing the retail sale of cannabis or not. The bottom line is no compromise should be made with public safety or the burden on the city and residents in allowing the retail sale of cannabis.

Initially, I was in favor of the limited allowance of retail sales of cannabis, as long as the city regulated the heck out of the businesses to mitigate any negative effects. My enticement, probably no different than some others, was filling our general fund with a new revenue stream that could only help our financial bottom-line.

Since reviewing the latest zoning map for allowed retail sales, what caught my eye was how the council succeeded in severely limiting the allowed locations. While I commend the council, staff and the planning commission on attempting to protect residential areas for the most part, what becomes clear is some areas are still impacted (examples that come to mind is Fox Hills and residential streets off of Sepulveda). Have we restricted the locations so much that all we have really done is concentrate a potential problem in someone else’s backyard? This is where I have trouble. Assuming for a minute that the studies against retail cannabis sales are 50% correct, allowing retail anywhere at least at this moment is the wrong path. I would not like a cannabis retail store down the street from my house….would you want one down the street from yours? My guess is the answer would be No.

I would submit the council consider a ban on commercial cannabis at this time for more robust and targeted outreach to the residents in the impacted areas to hear what they really think.

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