Your residents and community friendly businesses should be protected from the unintended consequences of commercial marijuana businesses. Parents will be further challenged to raise their children with no drug use messages when their city leaders are inviting them to make Chula Vista their new home so they can profit from selling their high THC products to exploit your youth and vulnerable low income and minority communities. Marijuana cultivation will bring the foul odor of skunk, fencing, armed guards, crime, drivers under the influence, and worst of all drug use, among youth and young adults. Time and again we see parents, families and existing community friendly business being offered to the commercial marijuana industry for profit. Many public elected have grown closer to marijuana industry lobbyist and more vulnerable to their empty promises. The industry is being granted everything from vertical integration to consumption lounges. The marijuana industry conflated the efforts to prevent and reduce drug use by targeting and removing drug dealers victimizing low income and minority communities for their profit. It was NOT a “war” on the victims of drug abuse or addiction, but on the victimizers. Simple possession was decriminalized, misdemeanor crime convictions expunged. But those convicted with sections 11359 & 11360 were for marijuana sales, transportation, furnishing and moral turpitude, they were not the victims, but the victimizers.
As we know, communities of color, and economically disadvantaged communities, are disproportionately burdened with businesses that cause pollution and are detrimental to health in other ways – such as corner stores that lack healthy food choices, more liquor stores, more smoke shops. And now - marijuana cultivation, manufacturing, and storefronts
This issue is directly related to environmental justice. If given the choice, or if they had the resources to move, how many would willingly live next door to a businesses that emits a terrible odor?
How many would choose to raise children near a business that thrives by addicting young users to a psychoactive drug known to cause mental and physical harm?
For years, public health advocates have called out tobacco companies for pushing menthol cigarettes in Black communities, while lobbyists fought and won to have menthol exempted from restriction.
National studies show there are eleven-times more tobacco retailers per square mile in low-income neighborhoods than in high-income neighborhoods.
The MJ industry is using the same business model. Don’t expect them to be any different.
Tobacco companies, including Altria, formerly Phillip Morris, are investing billions of dollars in the MJ industry.
Big Tobacco has a track record of disregard for the harm caused by their products, and a proven history of hiding the facts.
My name is Sharon Coleman, I am a 25+ year resident of Bonita & CV.
Today I am writing to the City Council to make them aware of the blighted shopping center in our community that is annexed by the City of Chula Vista.
This shopping center is located on the south side of Bonita Road, between Allen School Road and Willow Road and extends from a popular breakfast restaurant on the east side, to the Old Bonita Store on the west side.
The deferred maintenance on the structures is more than blight, it is a public safety hazard and there are concerns within the community about the safety of the tenants and the customers that patronize the center.
The structure(s) are made of wood and have 30 year old shake shingle roofs that are a fire hazard.
In addition, there are large, bright blue tarps that have been covering the roofs for many months, which indicates the leaks have not been remedied and the safety of the public is at risk, especially in the establishments that are serving food to the public.
There is an uprooted tree in the parking lot that after months has not been removed.
I am requesting the City Council to deploy resources to inspect and take action.
Thank you for your time and attention in the important matter.