Seaside STEPS Students Against Dispensaries in Marina

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Posted: Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Letter to the Editor

MARINA, CA -Kevin Saunders and other Marina residents are pressuring the mayor and City Council to lift the ban on medical marijuana dispensaries in Marina. Sun Street Centers STEPS youth leaders would like to thank the city of Marina for continuing to uphold the ban on medical marijuana dispensaries and to provide information on marijuana myths.

As Safe Teen Empowerment Projects youth leaders, it’s important to us to prevent youth accessibility to marijuana. By keeping the ban on medical marijuana dispensaries, the city of Marina is helping us reduce accessibility to marijuana among our youth. Youth access to marijuana is already plentiful on the Peninsula. The California Healthy Kids Survey 2011 reports 76 percent of 11th-grade students in Monterey County say marijuana is easy to obtain. By allowing one dispensary to open, it will send a domino effect across the Peninsula and increase youth access to marijuana. Keeping the ban on marijuana dispensaries is important to the community because it will reduce the number of fatalities among the youth caused by driving under the influence. Also, students who smoke marijuana will affect their learning process, tend to get lower grades and are more likely to drop out of school. I hope you all will agree that education is so important and is the key to a youth’s success. Therefore, we shouldn’t make marijuana easily accessible to youth in Marina.

One marijuana myth is that a minor cannot get a medical marijuana card. The truth is that in California, someone younger than 18 years old can get a medical marijuana card with their parent or legal guardian’s written permission. The parents have to purchase or grow and monitor the underage youth’s amount of marijuana until age 18. Allowing a medical marijuana dispensary to open in Marina would promote marijuana use to community members because in reality, obtaining a marijuana medical card is quite easy.

STEPS (Safe Teen Empowerment Projects) on the Peninsula is an after-school drug and alcohol prevention program through Sun Street Centers, a nonprofit organization that offers services for education, prevention and recovery of alcohol and drug addiction. As youth leaders, we are raising awareness on the dangers of youth access to marijuana by dispelling myths and giving educational presentations to the community. To get involved or for more information, contact the Sun Street Centers at 831-899-6577 and/or email us at