Village News - Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Murphy & Murphy Southern California Realty

 

Last updated 10/15/2021 at 6:38pm



The County Board recently voted to adopt ordinance amendments created ostensibly to relieve five marijuana businesses of ‘uncertainty or instability.’ Staff had been directed to write code changes to remove both. However, many think the amendments have gone too far, granting unprecedented privileges to a for-profit private predatory industry.

Supervisor Fletcher has no unincorporated land in his district and Supervisors Desmond and Anderson had no part in drafting the ordinance. Nine months ago, Fletcher assured unincorporated planning groups and residents that county staff would be sent out to seek their feedback.

They came out, but it appears it was a perfunctory gesture. None of the amendments reflected a single concern or priority voiced by unincorporated planning groups or residents. Every request and concern voiced was by those who had economic conflicts of interest; marijuana lobbyists, profiteers, and advocates.

In contrast to the extreme generosity and deference to accommodate five unincorporated marijuana dispensaries was the absence of acknowledgment, consideration, or compassion for community members and nonprofits who spoke. They provided research, science, and expert testimony of the potential for increased mental health problems, reduced vehicle safety from drivers under the influence, increased greenhouse gases, increased youth access, marijuana normalization, high potency flavored marijuana products that have fueled the epidemic of youth use, and the increased danger of contamination and overuse of groundwater in an on-going drought.

Supervisor Fletcher reminded that the five operators would be a fraction of the eventual number of marijuana businesses after the ordinance is developed. And that all marijuana businesses would be “subject to” the same amendments. Given the undue influence of the marijuana industry lobbyists and advocates, we have not likely seen the end to such egregious and inequitable amendments.

J. McVeigh

 

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