The City of Encinitas, where former Sierra Madre Mayor Joe Mosca happily allowed himself to be shoved onto the City Council there by the San Diego County political machine, and without a single resident vote by the way, is now seriously considering industrial scale commercial cultivation of marijuana for fun and beaucoup tax profit. Indications are this is going to happen. Link here for some of the mellow details.
For the record, I agree with what the Sierra Madre City Council is about to do. While I am sure the city could use the tax revenue it would gain by allowing medical marijuana shops downtown, especially when you consider the tens of millions of dollars the city is in the hole to CalPERS, it isn't going to happen. And trust me, they desperately need the money. It would be quite a lot.
However, all indications are they are not going to sell the city out in order to line the pockets of retired city employees. Downtown is a family place, and hundreds of school kids gather there after every school day. What message would it send to them if medicinal marijuana shops were to suddenly open in some of Sierra Madre's plentiful empty storefronts? How about a Weed-Mart at Howie's? Not a good look, right?
If allowed to do so, these shops would open in a heartbeat. Here is how tomorrow's City Council action on this issue is described in the staff report for this item (link).
It really doesn't look like anything approaching the legalized sale of marijuana is going to happen here. And it shouldn't. It is a nasty drug that can have some seriously debilitating effects on many of its users. Especially teenaged kids. If you need medical marijuana, trust me, it is available. Google "medical marijuana + Sierra Madre" and dozens of helpful resources will pop up. Places that will deliver the stuff to your home within the hour. With an illegal smile.
Or just drive down the 710 and read the billboards there for instructions on where to pick some up. Exit numbers are helpfully provided. Consult your doctor to see if marijuana is right for you. There are plenty of them who will write you a scrip for the cost of a visit to their offices. No questions asked.
Not everyone agrees with me, and I don't care
Everybody has an opinion, and they're entitled to them. Some people are more than willing to share their thoughts with you, whether you like it or not. And there are some good arguments in favor of legalizing the local sale of marijuana in California. After all, the voters did just that in a statewide referendum recently. Sometimes votes count.
One such opinion provider would be Frank Girardot, the fellow who used to posit himself as the friend of society's outsiders when he ran the Pasadena Star News a few years back. His perspectives have markedly changed from that apparently easily discarded guise over the last couple of years, and for reasons I personally find a little hard to respect. But that is a story for another time.
Frank wrote a column for the Star News back in late 2009 advocating for legalizing commercial marijuana shops. And while it did run in that and a few other regional dailies at the time, it also appeared on a blog called Toke of the Town (link). Here is how his piece appeared there on December 22 of that year.
So there you go. Two sides to every story.