Marijuana sales in central San Diego are rampant and totally out of control.
The City Council pontificates and ponders the number of clinics to be allowed in each council district. News reporters breathlessly reveal the long anticipatory lines of people applying for the few potential permits to operate a distribution point once regulations are finalized.
The reality is that in the council district where supposedly no clinics will be allowed to sell marijuana, more than 60 distribution centers and countless mobile delivery businesses operate, some within 1,000 feet of schools and parks. These clinics are openly shown on weedmaps.com and in 12.5 pages of marijuana-related advertising in the current edition of the San Diego Reader.
Some evaluation clinics advertise the cheap cost for obtaining I.D. cards required for “legal” purchase -- $25 at one place, coupled with “walk-ins welcome,” “Out of State OK,” and “fast in and out service.”
The situation is not a secret, except perhaps at City Hall.
A few weeks ago a clinic opened next to the San Diego Daily Transcript building on Banker’s Hill. It operates from approximately 8 a.m. until well after midnight seven days a week.
Our security cameras record hundreds of people every weekend and 50-100 each weekday purchasing pot at this one location. They arrive by vehicle, including every form of luxury car, as well as on foot -- alone or in groups of three to four. Customers appear to be from all walks of life and of primarily middle-age to young adults.
We have yet to see someone in a wheelchair, using a walker or cane, or being assisted in any way to enter the premises.
Employees of the Transcript have been solicited for money and for other services by potential customers of the clinic who are waiting for it to open in the morning. Some of these waiting customers have trespassed on our property and verbally assaulted our employees with threats and abuse, using the foulest of language.
There has been at least one attempted burglary at the clinic.
Executives of major companies arriving for Daily Transcript roundtables have asked if we realize that “there is a lot of marijuana being smoked in front of your building.”
We have observed some customers reselling their alleged medical marijuana from their cars in front of the building.
As best we can determine, the San Diego police have been told to keep hands off these activities.
Considering the total number of distribution points in central San Diego, if there are this many legitimately severely sick people in extreme pain and suffering, we have a major health problem. Not likely.
This program is simply an illegitimate “legalization” of marijuana. Big business in dollars, to be sure. But is it something we really want, given all that accompanies it?
Oh, and by the way, as was pointed out by one of our readers, the selling of marijuana is still contrary to federal law. A point to ponder as we approach National Law Week 2014.