Protect public safety, vote no on Nipomo pot shop

November 2, 2015


On Nov. 3, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors will consider a minor use permit (MUP) application to establish a medical marijuana dispensary at 2122 Hutton Road in Nipomo. Many residents in Nipomo have stated their opposition to this proposal. Several law enforcement officials, including Sheriff Parkinson are scheduled to voice their concerns at the board of supervisors.

The applicant company, Ethnobotanica, is headquartered in Santa Cruz County and along with 30 other companies currently “home delivers” medical marijuana in San Luis Obispo County. Thus, medical marijuana is readily available for authorized patients. The applicant, however, desires to open a retail outlet to expand operations.

The applicant previously presented the MUP application to the South County Advisory Council (SCAC) and after a discussion, with input from the audience, the SCAC voted 8-2 to recommend denial of the application to the SLO County Board of Supervisors.

The most important aspect of this recommended denial of the application was the concern for public safety.

The proposed location is near the intersection of Highways 166 and 101, just north of the Santa Barbara County line. Santa Barbara County has prohibited medical marijuana dispensaries in their county and if this application is approved in SLO County, this retail outlet would be the only dispensary on the Central Coast. It would certainly attract the widespread interest of legitimate users as well as the criminal element. Sheriff Brown of Santa Barbara County has publicly stated that this dispensary is a “bad idea” and he opposes the dispensary.

Medical marijuana dispensaries have been the target of robberies and burglaries at numerous locations within California. In a number of instances, violence has occurred. For example, in California, just this year:

In San Bernardino, an armed security guard at a medical marijuana dispensary was shot and killed during a robbery.

In Upland, a police SWAT unit arrested four armed suspects following a dispensary robbery in which the suspects pistol-whipped an employee and shot another in the leg.

In Bakersfield, a defendant who shot and killed two individuals during a robbery at a dispensary there has just pled guilty to murder.

In San Diego, trial has been ordered for two defendants for a robbery and shootout at a dispensary which left an accomplice dead and a guard wounded.

In Los Angeles, three robbers hit a mid-Wilshire dispensary and shot an employee in the leg.

The target for these criminal acts is not only the marijuana, but the large amount of cash generated by the dispensaries. These are just examples of recent violent crimes, but numerous other dispensary related crimes have occurred such as burglaries, money laundering, the resale of medical marijuana to juveniles and organized crime involvement in the supply of medical marijuana to dispensaries.

The SLO County Sheriff’s Department’s representative publicly stated that due to the remote location of the proposed dispensary the estimated response time of deputies to a crime at that location would be from 10 to 30 minutes. Obviously, this delay of emergency response puts the safety of the public in jeopardy.

It should be noted that on May 5, 2013, The California Supreme Court ruled that cities and counties had the authority to ban Medical Marijuana Dispensaries (City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients’ Health Center, Inc. 2013 Cal Lexis 4033).

A retail medical marijuana dispensary in the proposed location is a serious and unnecessary exposure to our citizens who may have the misfortune of being caught up as an innocent bystander during a critical incident stemming from the dispensary.

If you are concerned about this public safety threat to the community you are urged to attend the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors meeting to express your opinion.

Dick Wright has lived in Nipomo for 12 years. He is the public safety representative for the South County Advisory Council. For 40 years, he worked in law enforcement.

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They should put it in Cayucos. Lots of people smoke it there. We got the Sheriff’s panga boat catchers on the ready off the coast, the Sheriff station off Hwy 1, and everyone is so mellow…

In Nipomo, Ian Parkinson is already pushing for a Sheriff substation. He can be “minutes” from the evil dispensary!!!

I am all for medical marijuana. It is WAY better than getting hooked on OxyContin, morphine, whatever other opioid you name off. The only reason the dispensary is in the middle of nowhere is because people CHOOSE for it to be. Maybe we should have people drive out to Cuyama and 29 palms to get their Xanax, Valium, and Vicodin filled…..,

This is asinine. Give it up already. Just get over your ridiculous prejudices.

You’re arguing archaic, misinformed, uneducated, ignorant, the sky is falling, positions that have been debunked over and over and over. It gets tiresome.

Before you argue these points try your arguments on other products as some of the posters have pointed out here and observe how ridiculous they come across.

Almost anyone in San Luis Obispo County can be to a liquor store in 5 minutes and get high as a kite for about $5. Liquor is 100 times as dangerous as pot. Go to any section of the county where the homeless live and you’ll see many alcoholics, heroin addicts, meth addicts and not one pot addict. Not one.

Use reasoning and analysis and science not fear mongering and stereotyping.

We already have drug stores, why create lower standards?

We already have drug stores, why create lower standards?


Do you get your liquor from the pharmacy?

Your cigarettes?

What’s your point?

Well then sell it everywhere and throw in a Lotto ticket with every purchase too. Why be limited to AA groups, let’s have Dumb Shits Anonymous as well.

The FDA isn’t getting their cut off the weed bro. The war on drugs must also go on!!!!

Excellent arguments. . .against allowing banks to operate. Willie Sutton taught us that robbers go “where the money is.” But the odds of success have to be a factor.

It sounds like this place would have security which exceeds that of our local banks. If I were a bandit it seems prudence would direct me to a store or a bank before trying to carry out a heist at this place. The money might be here but the odds aren’t good.

Officer Dick, Could you post the number of robberies and shootings at California storefronts that sell booze?

I think they should protect public safety also: I want to get my marijuana in a safer town that Nipomo! That place is dangerous–put it in a safer city than that one.

You have made a complete Dick of yourself.

Protect public safety, vote no on Nipomo bank.

Q: How to ridicule an anti-cannabis letter to the editor?

A: Replace the words ‘cannabis dispensary’ with ‘banks’.

Banks have been the target of robberies and burglaries at numerous locations within California. Banks create a serious and unnecessary exposure to our citizens who may have the misfortune of being caught up as an innocent bystander during a critical incident stemming from banking institutions. We need to outlaw all banks in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.

Sorry Dick, wrong.