Southern Cal anti-pot coalition attracts national media
Growing coalition making its voice heard over divisive pot issue; if Prop 64 is approved, cities still have option to vote to ban marijuana COMPTON (MNS) — A coalition of activists from several local municipalities and
Growing coalition making its voice heard over divisive pot issue; if Prop 64 is approved, cities still have option to vote to ban marijuana
COMPTON (MNS) — A coalition of activists from several local municipalities and organizations convened for two joint press conferences held weeks apart in Compton to decry marijuana enterprises in their cities.
Activists joined in solidarity with from Lynwood, Bell, Cudahy, and Maywood, with Compton declaring a zero-tolerance ban on the marijuana drug business at Compton Unified School District headquarter, and Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church, where speaker after speaker, including elected officials and community leaders from the respective cities, took the podium to denounced marijuana.
Representatives of several national media organizations were on hand to cover the events organized by Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), a national anti-marijuana organization founded by Rep. Patrick Kennedy, son of the late Massachusetts senator Ted Kennedy.
According to Dr. Sam Sabet, president of SAM, marijuana enterprises appear to be targeted to minority communities.
“If you place a map of Black and Brown populated cities over a map containing those cities in Colorado that voted to permit marijuana businesses, there would almost be a one-to-one correlation,” Sabet said. “Now the same trend of targeting and concentrating the cannabis industry in a few minority cities of color is happening in Southern California and residents find themselves in furious battles against their own city councils to ban the marijuana industry and determine the future direction of their cities.”
Should Prop 64 be approved in California, recreational-use marijuana will become legal in the state, but cities will still have a say in the matter. To establish pot commercial trade will require a state license and a local business permit with the respective councils of every city in California voting yes or no for approval of medical or recreational use sale, manufacture, distribution, delivery, or cultivation of marijuana within city limits.
Compton city council persons Emma Sharif, Janna Zurita, and Tana McCoy, along with Compton Unified School District President Satra Zurita — who has launched a legal opposition against the City of Compton for failure to shutter illegal dispensaries near schools — stood in solidarity to call for a complete ban against marijuana businesses in Compton in contrast to Mayor Aja Brown and Councilman Isaac Galvan, who have been proponents of the industry in the city.
Noting the City of Maywood has launched the recall of four city council members, Raul Riesgo, Southern California regional coordinator for SAM, commented, “Our fight continues. Our communities will not be dumping grounds for marijuana businesses. Standing in solidarity with other groups and communities we need to send a message to those who are looking to get rich off the backs of the most vulnerable. Oppose legalization, Oppose Proposition 64.”
Lynwood City Councilman Sal Alatorre said a vote by his fellow city council members to allow commercial cultivation was “against the wishes of the people, and two city councilpersons have now been served recall papers” per Maria Viera of the Lynwood Recall Committee.
Cudahy City Councilman Jack Guerrero and Bell activist Marcos Olivo told the gathering of activists they traveled to Compton to stand in solidarity and voice their opposition.
Cynthia Macon and Susan Adams, Daughters of Compton contributed to this story.