Letter: Referendum Launched to Repeal Antioch’s Marijuana Business Districts

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The City of Antioch recently adopted an ordinance approving unrestricted Cannabis businesses within two zones within the City.  The action was not well thought out, and our City is not prepared, nor are we the right community for this type of business.

We are not prepared from a public safety standpoint to manage the risks of having unrestricted cannabis businesses in Antioch.  The Chief of Police recommended against approval because of the associated crime that this type of business is known to attract.  The high concentration of cash and the presence of large amounts of marijuana are a huge temptation for violent criminal elements, crime we don’t need in Antioch.  We have finally started to hire additional police officers, and with the violent potential robberies that have accompanied cannabis businesses in other communities, this is not a risk worth taking.

City council recently committed to hiring a public relations firm and an Economic Development director to not only improve the image of Antioch, but to attract large employer, tax revenue generating enterprises to Antioch.  Are cannabis businesses really the type of business that will accomplish these 2 goals?  Is this the best we can do?  Are we a community that really believes this is a meaningful, productive and a positive type of business?  What is the vision of our leaders?  Do they have one?  We as a community deserve better.  We can do better.

The proposed cannabis zones lie within 2 problematic areas.  The first zone lies within proximity of the city’s 2 largest tax revenue generators:  the auto center mall and Costco.  Don’t we want these businesses to be prioritized from a business safety standpoint?  How about people spending their money within these 2 areas, shouldn’t they be safe?  Do we want these enterprises to expand?  Or, do we want them leaving Antioch because we were shortsighted and allowed legalized drug enterprises in their backyards?  We deserve an economic development strategy that looks to expansion and encouraging people to continue to patronize the areas.  The impact of other businesses in the area hasn’t been explored either.  Without an integrated economic development strategy, we are a community not prepared for allowing a great unknown such as cannabis into our community.

Don’t we deserve a large job center in Antioch?  High paying good jobs that will allow people to live and work locally?  Why locate an unrestricted marijuana zone within an area that has the potential of providing high paying jobs and local employment?  The second proposed area lies along Wilbur avenue, east to highway 160.  This is a zone that had been designated for assembly, light manufacturing and commerce, given its proximity to heavy rail and a deep water entry point at Fulton Shipyard.   We deserve much better than a cannabis zone located here, or anywhere in Antioch.

We are not prepared to tax cannabis at this point.  The hasty decision to approve unrestricted cannabis businesses in Antioch does not include any taxation considerations. How will pot purchases be taxed?  At what rate?  Will the City actually get to keep the revenue, or will it be siphoned off by county and state authorities?  Don’t we deserve a more comprehensive strategy to address the tax impacts?

Antioch is not prepared to allow cannabis businesses to operate within the city limits.  Much more structure and clarity needs to be determined. Proposition 64 passage ensured the legalization of marijuana, but a practical look at the issues leads one to the conclusion that Antioch is not the right community for this type of business.

Join us in rejecting the council’s shortsighted decision and sign the Not In Antioch petition. You can find more information about signature gathering locations and how to get involved at www.facebook.com/NotInAntioch.

Let’s build an image of Antioch we can all support, a community with the right mix of positive images we can all be proud to call home.

Manny Soliz, Jr.
Rodney McClelland
Diana Patton

Editors Notes: The group now has 30-days to collect signatures where they need 10% of the registered voters in the City of Antioch.


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24 COMMENTS

  1. Well, this article is certainly written with a “Fear Mongering” slant. Those of you in this community that sit at home, with the doors and windows tightly locked, and your knees quivering will see the need to vote this out of existence. The rest of us see the possibilities for community engagement, and perhaps even some taxable income…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fearmongering

    It is reminiscent of the recent Republican Administration statement that “Voting Democrat In The Next Election Will Expose All Of Us To The MS-13 Gang”… Patently ridiculous, in both cases.

    One thing that perhaps ought to be considered would be to allow one dispensary in the downtown area, perhaps right across the street from City Hall. That would send the “correct” message to the people. It’s a Business, just like any other Business, and deserves to be treated as that…

    I have two relatives and some friends who regularly visit dispensaries in their local areas (One in California, one in Washington/Oregon, and inColorado), and they have told me that in both cases, the clientele is mostly YUPPIES (Young Urban Professionals, for those of you too young to remember!) and there’s very little crime and certainly no ne’er-do-wells in the area, because they can’t afford the cost!

    There is serious crime that should be dealt with, as a couple of you have mentioned, and I personally believe that Recreational Marijuana should be totally allowed and not even given a sideways glance by the Police, because it totally wastes their valuable crime-fighting time….

    I’m 75 years old, and have been near/around/intimate with pot smokers for over 50 years, and have never ever felt the need to be cautious or fearful around stoners… You sheltered folks that think that Reefer Madness is in any remote way, based in reality, need to get a Reality Check going for Your-Own-Bad-Selves!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reefer_Madness

  2. ALL drugs are dangerous. And a lot of crime is drug related. A drug related business is not like any other business. If you want to destroy your life with drugs – have at it. It’s your life. But for those of us that grew up in an era when “drugs were cool” some of us have enough common sense to know drugs AREN’T COOL. IF YOU NEED ALCOHOL OR DRUGS TO GET THROUGH LIFE – YOU DON’T HAVE ONE. Experimenting with drugs in your youth is one thing. People wise up through the years. Or you should. Enjoy rehab. And the crime it brings to any community. We’re all at risk for being victimized by drug addicts. Thanks for sharing.

    • Melanie, you also must be stuck in an uneducated era before researching things on your own was “cool”. Marijuana does not cause addiction like opiates or narcotics. Progressive thinking people are educated on the consequences of the drug war and prohibition politics. It’s over, the whole thing has been a failure.

      • You can get addicted to anything – including marijuana. A friend of mine has been smoking weed daily since the 8th grade. He’s in his 50s. If you don’t think smoking weed daily for over forty years is ADDICTION, you’re not very bright.

        • Exactly my point. You’re letting 1 of your friends paint a vivid picture of every cannabis user as a whole. Lots of people have habits that span for decades but we wouldn’t call them addicts. Addiction is when it becomes pathological, which your friend probably isn’t.

          • Wayne – He’s a self admitted addict. It IS pathological. He easily found weed when he was younger, but it’s much harder for him as an adult. At least he had enough common sense NOT to ask his children where he could find drugs. He considers himself a “highly educated loser.” It’s sad to listen to – but as a friend, I listen. Thank goodness he has no criminal record, and it’s weed – not hard drugs. But he’s still an addict. A drug addict is a drug addict – regardless of the drug. His addiction to weed destroyed two marriages. His ex-wives had zero tolerance for a father of their children smoking weed and not setting a good example for their children. He choose weed. As a happily married woman – very sad.

          • People with addictions are ill. How about you try to help your friend instead of using him as a pedestal for an agenda. I’d rather be alone than have friends like you. And if his wives left him over weed, then they would’ve left anyways. Plenty of happy marriages involve weed. Setting a good example is about discipline, motivation, character, etc. nothing to do with weed. Nick and Melanie are super lame.

  3. We just don’t need this in Antioch, do our City Major, and council members live in Antioch, because it looks like they just don’t care about our town

  4. Remember, cannabis is a schedule 1 drug, and until this product is removed from that list, cannabis has no place in our city.

    • The scheduling of marijuana as Schedule 1 is a complete disgrace and impedes on the progress we deserve as a society for proper research and advocation of its use. FYI, methamphetamine is schedule 2….

  5. John. They have to live in Antioch but this is a terrible decision. Mr Hammerman, I am 77 and had plenty of experience
    with drugged people. Too many of them are on our roads and in my neighborhood in Antioch.

  6. can we all move pass the stigmata of negative and see the bigger picture and how much this city could benefit from the tax money generated by sales? do more research people before judging

    • throwing tax money to politicians is like tossing weed bushes into a ravenous fire. both feed the problem and the idiots have fun with it. here’s an idea. stop wasting tax money!
      This lame #$$ excuse can only be logical to a pothead!

  7. What a terribly written article… it used to be that this site was one of the last for balanced reporting outside of local news.. Now, eastcountytoday is like one of those blogs by an insane Modern White Supremecist or something.
    Im not gonna join your community-watch-anti-marijuana-militia. Shortsighted conservatives.
    People killed by alcohol on our streets all the time, traffic laws are just suggestions, and everyones distracted by this.
    Typical Trumpeters writing this probably, their ideals will pass away into the dirt with their old bodies soon enough.

  8. The pro-marijuana bunch are just stoners whose brain cells have been destroyed in the hundreds-of-thousands from years of toking.

    • The old killing brain cells myth. (Yawn) go back to the 1980’s grandma. Us here in 2018 take advantage of the myriad of research provided to us and can make solid judgements based on critical thinking, not scare tactics.

  9. Anyone who does drugs (as an adult) is stupid, and setting a terrible example for their kids as well as society. They’re lowlifes. Get a life.

    • So you don’t consume alcohol, nicotine, or even caffeine Nick? Your puritanical mindset is a way worse example for kids because it leads to judgemental behaviors. Be square all you want, but don’t act like you’re better than anyone because everyone on this planet goes through some transgression and needs some mode of catharsis or coping. Instead of pointing the finger like some scrooge, empathize with them and be thankful you’re not going through it too. But oh I forgot, you’re one of those neckbeard white dudes, scared of becoming a minority one day, so you have to show you’re part of the strong and pure master race. Get over yourself Nick.

      • I partied back in the day. I gave it up when I became a PARENT. Partying when you’re young was fun. I didn’t miss too many parties or rock concerts. We still go to parties and concerts. Alcohol and drugs as an adult is stress related, and I work it off at the gym or a softball game. I shoot hoops. You might want to try sex. If you want to do drugs or drink – I don’t care. If you become an alcoholic or a drug addict – just stay off the roads and don’t commit any crimes.

        As a parent – the ONLY way was lead by example. If mom and dad are drinking and doing drugs, who’s fault is it when your kids drop out, commit crimes and become failures in life?

        Enjoy the high and the hangover. I don’t miss it AT ALL.

  10. I wouldnt mind this in antioch, im a homeowner and in antioch and to be honest over the past year things have been getting quiet. I apreciate the good efforts of the new members of our law enforcement, It is nice to see that they are also out ad about doing their jobs. There isnt any more street value on marijuana, the money is not what it used to be. Legalization is swayin all the growers to sell back to the club because of a guarunteed price and guarunteed sale. I honestly dont think that antioch could get any worse. So why not let them open shop and provide taxes to our city so that we can purchase more police officers ? Every club that I have seen has theyre own personal sercurity service anyways. …….

  11. This City and the stupid fuks that run it will do whatever they want anyway. Tax dollars for more cops? LOL ya right, we cant even fill the spots we currently have open. This City has completely gone to shit, just look around ……the City is ran by idiots, look at all the trash on the streets, our city parks are gross and full of needles, the homeless encampments is out of control, complete shopping centers vacant and boarded up, zero traffic enforcement, our schools are laughable, hood rats everywhere…..I dare someone to name 1 positive thing about this shithole City…Im listening

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