With just days to go before the election, I feel compelled to issue a plea to the citizens of Lemon Grove:
Vote no on Propositions T and Q, the measures to allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in our city.
I’m all for compassionate use and absolutely am not arguing that medicinal marijuana doesn’t have its benefits. What I am arguing is that the dispensary scam is just that—a storefront to allow the sale of marijuana to anyone who happens to get their hands on a “recommendation” card, which is not a prescription.
Want to know how easy it is to get a card? Go to the back of the Reader and you will find pages of doctors willing to give one up for the cost of an office call. And once you have the card, there’s no limit as to how many places you can go to get your “recommendation.”
Dispensaries are cash businesses, and there’s no monitoring of how much marijuana these “medicinal users” are actually obtaining—or whether the excess is being sold on the black market to our kids. Do you think locating a dispensary 1,000 feet away from our schools is far enough? How about from our parks? How many of the city’s smoke shops will add to their already robust line of drug paraphernalia?
Ask yourself how the paid signature gatherers managed to get 1,600 people to say yes to putting Proposition T on the ballot. I heard one of the candidates running for City Council say people were told the taxes collected from the dispensaries would go to repair streets.
How do we even know sales would be recorded correctly in order for the city to collect its due?
Paid signature gatherers have no vested interest in this city. They just needed to collect signatures to get paid by the organization behind Proposition T. This outside source, Citizens for Patient Rights, has collected $132,807 in donations this year. $122,700 of that has come from Patient Care Association of California, a non-profit association of San Diego medical cannabis collectives and cooperatives.
Not one donation is listed from a resident of Lemon Grove—zero, nil, nada.
But they’ve spent:
- $23,088 to pay signature gatherers—not one listed has a Lemon Grove address—and two organizations, the La Jolla Group and Community Engagement Resources.
- $24,749 to pay Will Copy & Print in San Diego to produce yard signs and a mail post card. They couldn’t even use a Lemon Gove company and put some of that money into the local economy!
- $865 to pay Post Haste Mailing Services in Poway to mail the post card
So far, they have spent $50,000+ to put on a campaign in Lemon Grove. Keep in mind that the “they” in this scenario is an “association of San Diego medical cannabis collectives and cooperatives.” Hmm. Sounds like the very folks who stand to profit from selling lots of marijuana in Lemon Grove.
And what about the cities of Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Encinitas—how much was spent promoting the same campaign in those cities, by the same group?
Why did the City Council put an alternative measure on the ballot?
The City Council, out of a sense of compassion for the terminally ill, said in council meetings that they wanted to demonstrate respect to those who signed the petition by offering the alternative measure—Proposition Q—which would allow some dispensaries, but not as many as Proposition T, with greater resident input and regulation.
Naively, they believed that lots of folks in Lemon Grove were behind this measure. Now we know better.
I attended the candidate forum Monday night and was grateful that Mark Gracyk and Mike Richards both stated they would not support either proposition. Hooray for them! More people need to stand up and say no.
We are a city of compassionate people who step up and do the right thing when the time comes. I’m now asking that you step up and do the right thing for this city.
VOTE NO ON PROPOSITIONS T and Q.
—Dexter is a school board trustee and one of three authors on the ballot arguments against both propositions.