Riechel Reports - Events - City of San Bruno CA

Barbara LaRaia - June 29 2020 Council Discusses "POT TAX"

Article Source:  Barbara LaRaia

The following was requested to be posted under Public Comments on the City web page for tonight's meeting

  Although I respect Laura Davis and Michael Salazar, and agree much of the time with how they vote, this time is NOT one of them.  All five councilmembers on June 09 voted YES to have our "skeleton", overworked staff (COVID-19; staff cuts/furloughs)  work overtime without pay , and also  spend A MINIMUM of  $60,000  of OUR taxpayer money when the city is almost $9 million in the negative) to put this ill-conceived marijuana tax of 10% on the ballot.  The city had  to hire outside lawyers and consultants, and will be sending out mailers. This was after months of hardline tactics (late into the night) of Marty Medina and Linda Mason to "never stop" until they got their way, EVEN DURING A HORRIFIC PANDEMIC; a fiscal nightmare, and "skeleton", overworked staff . 

  This tax is for future cannabis retail, likely dispensaries, manufacturing and or research and delivery.  On June 09, misinformation was given when Councilmembers Mason and Medina said there were NO crimes committed at dispensaries in San Mateo County or nearby.  Upon checking, I found that the Pacifica pot dispensary (Manor Drive) had a break-in a little over a year ago, causing damage to the dispensary plus about $22,000 (Twenty-two thousand) dollars worth of pot and cash stolen. There were a significant number of other break ins at San Francisco dispensaries, also. This is public record.

  MAKE NO MISTAKE - this ballot measure is the first step in allowing pot shopS (and possibly other-related cannabis retail) in San Bruno, where property values decline within 1/2 mile of these businesses (documented in Washington State and Colorado) , and crime increases. Not to mention documented increases of emergency room visits due to marijuana-related issues in Colorado. Here are some documented crime increases:  LAPD Data for 2019 pot crimes- 115 reported cases of break ins, etc. at dispensaries in the first NINE months of 2019 - an increase of more than 10% from first months of 2018. And, as of several months ago, Sacramento Police have been investigating about ten breaks-ins at local pot shops.  IT is an ALL-CASH business, because pot/cannabis/marijuana is still against federal law,and no banks can get involved. Our city council is trying to tax something that is against Federal Law.

  Linda Mason and Marty Medina (and much of their "support" group) have not been painting a true picture of the rampant crime and other issues around pot dispensaries, nor the lawsuits due to horrible odors from pot manufacturing plants (See Palm Springs).  Their very aggressive push to try to dupe voters (and Mayor Medina and Councilmembers Davis and Salazar) to approve a 10% cannabis tax is disingenuous; makes zero fiscal sense; is an affront to staff working overtime (without overtime pay because they are salaried); and is yet another example of a waste of taxpayer money. The entire council should be spending its time on ways to prevent the city from defaulting - such as pension reform, to start with; committing to STOP hiring consultants for so many things; and REIGNING IN SPENDING of OUR money.  Imagine, if the council tonight votes to put this measure on the ballot  and it passes?  The city would have to hire a special city worker ("high" salary plus pension and benefits) to deal with all new applications for marijuana dispensaries and/or other pot retail, and to do background checks for marijuana retail applicants, and all the red tape associated with this federally-illegal business.

Thank you,
    Barbara LaRaia, BarbaraLaraia2004@yahoo.com -  San Bruno


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