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Opinion: Vote No on Props. T and Q

"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."

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.

Really? 

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.

J Jones November 04, 2012 at 08:05 AM
This subject is an emotional one and the issues get confusing. The steps to legalization should be Federal first then State and lastly Local. Where we are today is backwards and the potential burden on a small community is unfair. This is not a question of the legality of medical marijuana. California law decided that in 1996 and the Feds have been pushing back ever since. This is a question of land use and proper regulation. All communities have a right to decide their quality of life and must keep a constant vigil to retain that right. What has been proposed in T strips the community of it's input, oversight and ability to finance impact mitigation. No community should ever be shut out of the ability to express their opinion on what will happen to their neighborhood. Input is not dictation but prop T bypasses CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) and that's censorship that concerns me. PS Love the alias names. Hint a little less hostility and dictation wins more friends. Then again this is the internet.
Cathy Bliss November 05, 2012 at 07:04 PM
The purpose of law in a democratic society is to maximize human freedom while ensuring safety and social harmony. Just law only limits individual freedoms where people’s choices otherwise would cause harm or limit the freedom of others. Law for any other reason tends towards imperialism and away from democracy and self-government. The current prohibitionary laws regarding medical cannabis excessively limit choices that are meaningful to human health and personal sovereignty for something that presents no substantial, realistic threats to society or citizens. The desire to keep medical cannabis inaccessible to those that need it is not warranted, is not in line with the desires of the majority of those affected and is directly opposed to the overwhelming body of relevant, unbiased, social and medical scientific findings on the topic. This desire represents a de-evolutionary movement, antithetical to the ideals of a self-governing, free society. As voters and concerned citizens it is our role to uphold the ideals of a free society by voting in favor of propositions and candidates that maximize individual freedom and science based law. For this reason I urge you to vote YES on Proposition T (Lemon Grove), Proposition W (Solana Beach), Proposition H (Del Mar) and Proposition S (Imperial Beach).
LemongroveLady November 06, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Quite frankly I really don't care who or how these props got on the ballot......they are here now to be dealt with. In my opinion dispensaries (if they are to exist) should be located in major downtown areas not small working class communities such as ours. We have enough on our plate. Please ask yourself how this would affect our property values and ask would this be acceptable in La Jolla? Because we are incorporated and not in line with the county they are hot to get their foot in our door. The dispenseries will have to be closely watched costing us more money. Money we need for our community. Props Q&T will cheapen our city. VOTE NO and send them somewhere else.
Katie Dexter November 07, 2012 at 11:26 PM
The people of this great city have decided - and I'm so grateful they voted no against both propositions. Maybe now we can move forward and spend our efforts on what's really important to this community - educating our children, providing safe routes to travel, and public safety. Let's work together on bringing in business that will compliment our city and hanging our appeal.
Katie Dexter November 08, 2012 at 06:12 PM
That last line should be enhancing our appeal...sorry about the typo!

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