Mountain View Residents Urge City Council to Reconsider Marijuana Stores

March 2, 2019 Updated: March 2, 2019

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.—Community members and local organization leaders held a press conference on Feb. 28, ahead of an upcoming public meeting regarding cannabis (marijuana) regulations in the city.

Mountain View City Council members will on March 5 in City Hall at 6:30 p.m. discuss potential amendments to cannabis regulations and re-vote on the regulations that were adopted in the fall of 2018.

The press conference provided people who are against opening recreational cannabis stores an opportunity to speak their views and advise city leaders to amend the 2018 cannabis regulations.

Participants held signs that read slogans such as “No pot shop near schools,” “Don’t legalize drugs,” “No Marijuana in Mountain View,” “Spare our children from drugs.”

“We strongly urge all council members to reject commercial marijuana completely,” said Frank Lee, Bay Area Director of California Coalition Against Drugs.

Frank Lee speaks
Frank Lee speaks at a marijuana press conference in Mountain View, Calif., on Feb. 28, 2019. (Cynthia Cai/The Epoch Times)

Speakers addressed the effects of cannabis, ranging from health to public safety issues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prolonged use of cannabis has been found to cause unpleasant thoughts or feelings of anxiety and paranoia, reduce attention and memory, and impede learning functions.

“Adolescents have a developing brain, and when they start using [marijuana] young, which they are using younger and younger because of all this misinformation … they are losing up to eight IQ points by using marijuana at a young age,” said Dr. Lynn Fox, Ph.D., retired professor from San Francisco State University and speaker for schools, parents, and communities.

Dr. Lynn Fox speaks
Dr. Lynn Fox speaks at a marijuana press conference in Mountain View, Calif., on Feb. 28, 2019. (Cynthia Cai/The Epoch Times)

Dr. Fox explained that this loss of IQ points is equivalent to what is recognized as a “loss in intellectual functioning,” which may lead young people who use marijuana to perform worse academically than their peers or drop out of school.

“I am genuinely concerned of our city’s decision on cannabis, which will affect the environment that my kids grow up [in],” said Tootoo Thomson, a mother of three and an afterschool art teacher in the city.

Thomson added that some of the store locations approved by the Mountain View City Council last year are near schools.

Chad Norris, training coordinator at the California Narcotic Officers Association (CNOA), also addressed some safety concerns with marijuana stores and delivery services.

Chad Norris addresses safety concerns
Chad Norris addresses safety concerns with marijuana stores and delivery services in Mountain View, Calif., on Feb. 28, 2019. (Cynthia Cai/The Epoch Times)

Norris said that with a quick three-minute online search, he was able to find multiple violent criminal cases associated with marijuana dispensary deliveries. He brought and shared a few of the news articles he found, all of which involved physical assault, guns, and robberies.

“When you look at dispensary deliveries, they have the product. They either have a large amount of marijuana or, on their return, they have a large amount of cash currency. So, it’s very easy for some of these criminal organizations to go to these dispensaries, watch as people leave the dispensaries with the product, and stop and rob them,” explained Norris in an interview after the press conference.

In the fall of 2018, the City Council adopted regulations permitting a total of four cannabis businesses, consisting of two retail storefronts and two delivery services in Mountain View.

Lee explained through a follow-up phone call that there is a misconception regarding marijuana delivery services. He explained that each city oversees its own regulations and is not obliged to open marijuana delivery services.

Delivery services must comply with city regulations. This is seen in § 5414(c) of California Code of Regulations Title 16 Division 42, Bureau of Cannabis Control.

The speakers at the press conference urged local residents to attend the upcoming hearing and make their voices heard.