2017-07-13 / Letters

Pot is bad, alcohol is good, policy suggests

In one article, the Acorn reported that the City of Thousand Oaks is facing rising police costs. In another, that the City Council is allowing only one medical-need pot dispensary.

While other cities are trying to take advantage of the tax revenues that will be generated by pot legalization, our council is wrongly treating a marijuana dispensary as a form of urban blight.

If you’ve ever driven on Ventura Boulevard in Woodland Hills you’ve passed dispensaries located in both storefronts and business offices. You probably didn’t notice.

These locations are in competition with each other and in easily accessible shopping areas. Loitering is not an issue. People of all walks of life use these dispensaries, including T.O. residents.

Meanwhile, the T.O. council is looking to impose draconian restrictions by limiting access to the proposed dispensary, and, in turn, making it more difficult for the operator to turn a profit.

The ordinance requires that the dispensary be by appointment only, requiring a waiting period between when a person calls and when they can pick up.

The council also limited hours of operation to between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. and said the business must be in an industrial district, not in a conveniently located shopping center or office building.

It’s hypocritical to have a waiting period for someone to legally purchase marijuana when you can purchase alcohol at any time at almost every shopping center in the city. It seems that the council is using loitering as a pretext to make it as difficult as possible to legally purchase pot in T.O., conveying the sentiment that alcohol is “good” and pot is “bad.” This despite overwhelming voter approval to legalize recreational marijuana use.

Meanwhile, other cities are seeking to profit from taxing recreational marijuana. Long Beach is permitting 32 dispensaries and growing operations, all subject to taxation. I’m not suggesting we become Long Beach, but by T.O. allowing only one limited-access dispensary, it will eliminate competition and force T.O. residents to go to Woodland Hills to legally purchase pot.

Meanwhile, how does the city plan to pay the increased costs of policing?

Robert Anderson
Thousand Oaks

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