Pubdate: Tue, 08 Feb 2011
Source: Times-Herald, The (Vallejo, CA)
Copyright: 2011 Richard Heyer
Author: Richard Heyer


An open letter to the Benicia Unified School District Board of 
Education, Benicia Teacher's Association, Benicia teachers and parent 

I would like you to join me, City Councilmen Mark Hughes and Tom 
Campbell in persuading the mayor and the remaining council members to 
seek a permanent ban to any and all marijuana dispensaries that may 
apply for licensing within the city limits of Benicia.

With 22 dispensaries already in operation within driving distance and 
some offering free delivery to individuals who need this form of 
treatment, there is no logical basis for inviting such an 
establishment into our city. The Benicia police support such a ban, 
and work hard with our school administrators to keep such drugs off 
our campuses, since we admittedly already face a problem, as do so 
many of our surrounding communities. As Councilman Hughes said, if we 
thought that only those who need it for true medical reasons would 
obtain it, then there wouldn't be much of an issue, but we have all 
known or heard of cases where prescriptions drugs are re-dispensed to others.

The mayor and city council members are seeking input from the 
community -- I feel that this is an area where educators and parents 
need to step forward and lend their voices. Councilman Ingersoll felt 
it would be hypocritical of him to try to ban a marijuana dispensary 
while allowing the sale of tobacco and liquor within city limits. 
This logic would imply that if you have two evils, why not allow a 
third. We need to question and reverse the thinking of a planning 
committee that voted unanimously in favor of removing a ban on 
marijuana dispensaries and recommend to the mayor and the city 
council to remove it. We must question the interests of advocates 
such as the former mayor of Sebastopol and another speaking for a 
dispensary in Oakland. What is the interest of the planning committee 
in this matter at this particular time and where is the "tremendous 
support" for a dispensary, which Councilman Schwartzman spoke of, coming from?

Thank you in advance for your research and support of this ban, for 
working for and with our children and keeping them safe and drug free.

Richard Heyer

Parent, Benicia
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