In his most recent Town Hall meeting the mayor was engaged closely by an attorney who said he wanted to “open a dialogue” with the city about allowing medical marijuana dispensaries.
Of course, often when you “open a dialogue,” you end up getting rolled over by an 18-wheeler. However, it might be approaching time when Escondido considers adopting a more realistic policy toward marijuana, especially in this quickly changing legal landscape.
Escondido is, after all, the “City of Choice,” as well as the “Hidden City,” so how about letting people choose to smoke pot without buying it from hidden sources?
Often the city of Escondido is like the late conservative philosopher William F. Buckley, who said that the role of conservatives is to “stand athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it.”
There is much wisdom in “yelling stop,” but it’s also smart to know when you should stop yelling because history has already passed you by.
One of those big things with lots of momentum that the city council has put up its hand to stop is the state’s policy toward the legalization of marijuana. It’s a good rule of thumb that policy makers in a democracy should reflect the views of their constituents. As someone once observed about America: “Here the people rule.” It’s hard to say that you support a populist such as Trump—as the mayor and most of the council certainly does—and then say that the people are wrong about an issue such as marijuana sales within city limits. It’s hard to say, “The people are right, except when they are wrong.” But that seems to be city policy at the moment.
The mayor concedes that a majority of voters in Escondido voted for Prop. 64, which largely legalized the use and sale of the weed. But he seems to think that they were duped about what Prop. 64 actually meant when they voted for it. Is it realistic to suppose that the voters of Escondido supported recreational pot use but didn’t think anyone would be able to buy it if it was legal?
The mayor repeated that he doesn’t want to see any dispensaries near schools. I doubt that anyone else does either. However, there is plenty of real estate in the city that isn’t anywhere near a school. It’s a pretty good sized city. Unless, of course, that what he means by “near a school” is “within 10 miles of a school.” Try drawing a Venn diagram of those intersecting circles and just about every square inch of the city would be ruled out!
Marijuana use is becoming an accepted use. It’s safe to say that pot smokers are far less subject to being harassed and bullied than simple cigarette or cigar smokers. Tobacco and alcohol users can freely purchase their vices of choice.
More important, there is an accepted role for pot in the treatment of pain and suffering. I personally know of someone whose stage 4 cancer has been kept at bay with the use of CBD oil, which is derived from the plant. I’m sure others have similar stories to tell.
How about making it easier for people in pain to find a palliative, instead of forcing them to leave town to get some relief?