Pubdate: Fri, 07 Mar 2008
Source: Antioch Press (CA)
Copyright: 2008 Brentwood Press
Author: Dave Roberts
Bookmark: (Paraphernalia)


A store that may be selling items used to smoke marijuana is planning
to open up just down the street from Deer Valley High School, a
prospect that concerns city and school officials along with some
business owners and residents.

A Cigarettes 4 Less store is planning to open in Deer Valley Plaza.
The existing Cigarettes 4 Less in the Safeway Shopping Center at
Hillcrest and Deer Valley roads sells marijuana-smoking items such as
rolling papers, pipes and bongs.

The Antioch Unified School District Board has sent a letter to the
City Council asking that the Cigarettes 4 Less not be allowed to
locate in Deer Valley Plaza.

Board President Walter Ruehlig said at the Feb. 27 meeting that
Cigarettes 4 Less "is not as notorious a head shop as ones you should
find in areas of San Franciscio, but it's not a place you would want
to bring your young daughter or son. I've seen enough Cheech and Chong
movies to know (those items are) not being used for tobacco."

He said other cities have ordinances regulating shops selling drug
paraphernalia. The City Council has asked City Attorney Lynn Tracy
Nerland to look into what, if anything, can be done to ban or regulate
Cigarettes 4 Less from opening in Deer Valley Plaza.

One of those concerned is Chanel Perez, a hair stylist at Roxy Salon,
which is next to the planned Cigarettes 4 Less store.

"The high school's right here," she said. "All the high school kids
will come over and get cigarettes or have their friends get it for
them. I just don't think it will bring a good crowd around here. A lot
of people will be loitering around here now. I am just worried that
it's going to affect my business."

A man who works part-time at the Cigarettes 4 Less in the Safeway
Shopping Center and who would only identify himself as Bally said the
store has been there three years and has not caused any problems. "We
don't let those people (causing problems) hang out in front of our
store or let them in the store."

Councilman Arne Simonsen said in a phone interview that Antioch police
told him "there have been no problems" at that store, adding "there's
a lot of bogus rumors going around."

But Michelle Buschini, co-owner of Cartridge World, which is just two
doors down from Cigarettes 4 Less, said there have been problems due
to that store's clientele.

"A lot of people in the handicapped parking (spaces), blasting the
music, throwing the cigarette butts down," she said. "Three times we
have been robbed and vandalized. I do think definitely the type of
customer that type of store attracts can be a threat to the other
businesses in the shopping center and the patrons."
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