Escondido, CA

EUSD board members back city’s resistance to marijuana dispensaries within city limits

The board of the Escondido Union School District at its May 13 meeting said it will back the city in denying the location of marijuana dispensaries within the city limits.

It was recommended that two board members should attend the city’s May 18 meeting to speak to the board on the issue and present a letter or resolution stating EUSD’s position.

Member Joan Gardner referred to statements that had been made by the Escondido chief of police that the issue was “morality over money as the bottom line reasoning behind dispensaries because we can tax them. And I would call that the slippery slope and road to perdition in my mind.”

She referred to “delivery services” and one or two medical dispensaries within the city limits but argued that even this meant “a lot of problems and especially for our youth.” She added, “My preference would be to actually have a resolution or a letter to the city council and say the district takes the position that that would not support as a school district.”

Member Mark Olson also referred to the “tax revenue” dispensaries would provide to the city, but added, “it also brings things to the community that I think we have all seen firsthand are not advantageous, especially for the youth in our community.”

Member Georgine Tomasi granted that “some people use (marijuana) for medical reasons (but) not everybody is going to be using it for medical reasons. So we want to take a position to say no. Just say no.”

And member Frank Houston said that the dispensaries “attract people that tend to commit crime. It also attracts kids. I would hope that whatever letter proposed to the city would be emphatic – this is not good for the city.”

Board President Doug Paulson expressed agreement with the other board members, thus creating a consensus and saying, “The use of marijuana is the greatest threat to our children that this generation has seen. I watch every day students who have been very negatively impacted by their own use, where their parents (have) use of marijuana.”

He added:  “The amount of money you wind up spending to remediate the problems that the dispensaries bring in far outweigh those tax dollars.”  

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