Debunking the Vista Marijuana Poll – OPINION


By Garry Garretson – The following is the opinion of the author, not those of the NORTH COUNTY DAILY STAR.

Proponents of the marijuana initiative, Measure Z, keep quoting the 1,007 residents who were polled in 2017. The results were 56 percent supporting dispensaries to make marijuana available to medicinal users. However, Measure Z in its current form was not public until after the poll. There have been many iterations of Z until it legally qualified this year for the November ballot. Those polled did not have access to Measure Z.
What is missing from the proponent’s use of the 2017 poll results, are the qualifying factors that those polled demanded, to get their support for medicinal sales. Actual copies of the results are inserted below.
What would be their reaction to allowing dispensaries in mixed use zones, on the commercial first floor, with housing units just above the shop?
Location must be 1,000 feet from schools stated 84 percent. What would be their reaction if they knew Prop Z only calls for 600 feet? That is only a 10-15-minute walk.
Dispensaries must be 1,000 feet from a treatment center, indicated 75 percent. What if they knew proposition Z allows dispensaries within 600 feet?
What if they knew that dispensaries could be next-door to parks?
“No residential zone” was required by 77 percent. What if they knew that commercial, industrial, business and mixed-use zones are next door or really close to their residential neighborhoods if Z passes?
Criminal background check necessary for 88 percent. What would they have said if they knew that felons, who committed their crime more than four years ago, could own or work in their local shop?
What would be their reaction if they knew the city was going to propose Measure BB, allowing three delivery facilities to meet medicinal needs?
What if they knew how limited the cities enforcement will be if Z passes? Very small fines are stated in the proposition and it exempts compliance with city ordinances.
What if they knew that getting rid of a bad operator may take a citizen vote?
Did they know that there are no setback requirements for dispensaries from sidewalks?
Did they know that once permitted, the city would have little control over the operation of the dispensary?
Applicants can get a license by meeting minimum requirements, ignoring other requirements defined in the Vista General Plan and city ordinances.
The poll was not taken with these important facts on the table, therefore it is invalid. It was just a general “feeling” poll, mostly centered on compassion for medicinal users, many who are terminally ill or in great pain.
What if those polled knew that 20 percent of marijuana products failed potency testing, especially edibles, which have seen a 33 percent rejection rate (UT page A5 9/12/18), and with unacceptable levels of pesticides, solvents and bacteria, including salmonella. (State Bureau of Cannabis Control). THC, the psychoactive chemical that causes the high, is not tested now for harmful species of mold and yeast.
What if the poll asked the complete and accurate question this way?

“Do you support 11 marijuana store fronts in your neighborhood, next to your residence, 600 feet from schools, next to parks, and next to churches, which can be manned by felons, can be in mixed-use apartments, that create parking issues, with very little local enforcement control, with compliance extremely difficult to enforce and with unreliable testing results?”

That is the real Z.
What would they have voted if the following was included?
“Or do you support three highly controlled delivery locations, determined through public meetings, for delivery to medically qualified users, with three local testing facilities to ensure high quality and safety”?
This is BB.
Z does not have any testing facilities. BB does. (See blog on state testing results). It does provide access to medical users but it is bad for Vista.
How will you vote? It all depends on you for our future to protect our kids and neighborhoods. You now know what is in Measure Z.


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