[Editor’s Note: Mr. Tiggs, whose campaign for a City Council seat opens Sunday at 2 o’clock at 4378 Jasmine Ave., sent the following message to the Council ahead of last Monday’s meeting to approve new retail marijuana operations.]
Due to work unexpectedly taking me out of town, I am unable to be present this evening.
In my 25-plus years as a resident, I cannot recall seeing such a wedge issue (the retail sale of cannabis in Culver City) that has put friends and neighbors at odds with each other.
I will not recite studies that support one position or the other.
I am confident each Council member is more familiar than I am as to which study supports his/her position.
We can be honest with ourselves that an equal number of studies could be used to either support allowing the retail sale of cannabis or not.
The bottom line: No compromise should be made with public safety or the burden on the city and residents in allowing the retail sale of cannabis.
Initially, I was in favor of the limited allowance of retail sales of cannabis, as long as the city regulated the heck out of the businesses to mitigate any negative effects.
My enticement, probably no different than some others, was filling our general fund with a new revenue stream that could only help our financial bottom-line.
Since reviewing the latest zoning map for allowed retail sales, what caught my eye was how the City Council succeeded in severely limiting the permitted locations.
While I commend the Council, staff and the Planning Commission on attempting to protect residential areas for the most part, what becomes clear is some areas are still impacted (examples are Fox Hills and residential streets off of Sepulveda).
Have we restricted the locations so much that all we have really done is concentrate a potential problem in someone else’s backyard?
This is where I have trouble.
Assuming for a minute that the studies against retail cannabis sales are 50 percent correct, allowing retail anywhere at least at this moment is the wrong path.
I would not like a cannabis retail store down the street from my house.
Would you want one down the street from yours?
My guess is the answer would be no.
I would submit the Council consider a ban on commercial cannabis at this time for more robust and targeted outreach to the residents in the impacted areas to hear what they really think.