Pubdate: Wed, 29 Sep 2010
Source: Tahoe Daily Tribune (South Lake Tahoe, CA)
Copyright: 2010 Swift Communications
Author: Bruce Grego
Note: Bruce Grego is a South Lake Tahoe Council Member.


Since expressing my objection to the marijuana "dispensaries" in our
community, I have been receiving a number of "pot shots" from some
members of the public.

Yes, I am concerned about the development of the dispensaries and
cultivation of marijuana in our community. To understand my position,
we need to refine the terms used by those in-support. Following WWII,
those governments that we viewed as undemocratic attempted to defeat
those who demanded freedom for all peoples by renaming their countries
"People's Republic of This" or the "Democratic Republic of That."
Similarly, the proponents have sought to defeat the opposition by
changing words, such as "drugs" to "medicine," "drug distribution
center" to "dispensaries," "drug users" to "patients," and by
exploiting those who have critical medical conditions as "poster
children" for their movement.

I oppose the proliferation of drugs in our community. I will oppose
anyone who seeks to use Proposition 215 to further drug abuse in our
community, but I do not oppose use of marijuana for those with severe
and significant health problems in which marijuana is used to control
pain. One of the problems that have added complexity to this issue is
that certain members of the medical community are issuing marijuana
cards like Halloween candy. Let's face it, those in support favor the
use of this drug for all purposes. It is not a question of wellness,
but of getting "high," making money and attempting to legitimize and
provide easy access to this drug among our youths and young adults for
the purpose of making more money. If marijuana did not make you
"high," or if there were no money to be made, does anyone think there
would be any interest in promoting this drug?

I have also stated that the threat of expanded drug use in our
community is a greater threat than the Angora fire. It is. The Angora
fire primarily destroyed property. Drug abuse destroys people and
families. No contest.

I was elected to provide leadership, make decisions, and protect this
community. Drug cultivation in our community continues to expand. I
have heard estimates that the drug distribution centers have 20,000
drug users that are members of their three collectives, that there are
300 residences in our community being used for cultivation, that drug
distribution centers have expanded throughout our commercial area, and
at least one candidate for City Council is calling to make South Lake
Tahoe a world-class drug destination resort!

Should I be concerned? Or is this the second industry that we have
been all hoping for? While local government is limited by its
resources to address this challenge, we nevertheless need to have a
candid and full debate of the total impacts of this "industry" upon
our community, and to take action to defend our community before
those-in-support change its character by default.

By the way, September is national drug abuse prevention

Bruce Grego is a South Lake Tahoe Council Member.  
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