July 23, 2015
To the editor of South County Newspapers,King City Rustler, Greenfield News, Soledad Bee, and Gonzales Tribune:
As members of the PARTS South County prevention coalition our primary mission is dedicated to building healthy and safe communities, and we are concerned that many South County communities (King City, Greenfield, Soledad and Gonzales) received inquiries from persons or corporations interested in growing and/or dispensing medical marijuana. Each of these cities initially had a moratorium in place of said activities in place, and has recently expired.
Our membership is made up of a collection of “helping agencies”, some are professional mental health experts, and some are juvenile probation officers, school district representatives, and teachers. There are also leaders of each city mentioned, to have one or all of the area Police Chief’s at various times is not uncommon. Most importantly, we have community members and parents that are concerned enough about their community to ask that the growth of marijuana epidemic in South County is held at bay, at best.
Although the issue is growing and dispensing medical marijuana, the public should be aware that growing for “personal use” is limited to 99 plants, or on a 10’ x 10’ lot. No one person could smoke that much. Monterey County Sheriff Gang Violence Suppression Unit of South County recently responded to a question asked by a member to speculate on how much marijuana a (one) mature plant could create. His best guess was up to $30.000 yield.
How much of the proposed money the city plans to generate is going to spent on over-sight, regulation, zoning ordinance, security, toxic waste reduction, not to mention the greatest needs of community safety, drug prevention, and education? The most common statements made by each city official focus on tax revenue it could bring in—how can you funnel that money into the complexities of proper supervision, and community health.
Every South County Chief of Police has spoken out against having and growing marijuana in South County. The City of Soledad and well as the Monterey County Board of Supervisors placed another moratorium in place till these questions could be answered.
We humbly submit that you should follow their lead and ban dispensaries and the ability to grow marijuana until such time as a clear study has been done on the impact of the community, in all aspects.
Anna Foglia Darlene Acosta
CEO Prevention Coordinator
PARTS South County Coalition
Sun Street Centers
831.385.0100 office/ 831. 753.5144 x1 CEO