As a physician, I am concerned with the exposure of young people’s developing brains to marijuana, other drugs, and alcohol. Nothing is more important to me than the health and welfare of our future generations. However, we already allow marijuana delivery, and we have a dispensary just steps out of town. No one under 21 is allowed inside, much less able to buy product. I have seen no data on increased crime in dispensary areas, and statewide data shows that, if anything, teen use of marijuana and other drugs has decreased since marijuana was legalized in California.
The number of dispensaries should be strictly regulated, and they should not be close to schools, childcare settings, or playgrounds. California law unambiguously states that no one under 21 is allowed to enter any dispensary. If there are concerns that adults will buy marijuana for teens, we already face that problem with both the existing dispensary and the marijuana delivery service.
One of the arguments we heard against a dispensary within city limits during the CRC debate on Tuesday night was that it would provide ONLY $400,000 per year. This is an untenable argument for a city in our financial situation! If we want to maintain and expand recreational services for youth, every dollar counts!