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Make cities honor the will of California voters on marijuana shops

Make cities honor the will of California voters on marijuana shops
A view of an illegal marijuana dispensary after the Department of Water and Power shut off its utilities in Wilmington on May 14. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: First columnist George Skelton and then the L.A. Times editorial board came out against the proposal by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) to allow at least one retail marijuana dispensary for every six liquor stores in cities where the voters approved Proposition 64.

The majority of California voters said they wanted to have well-regulated, controlled and taxed dispensaries, not to reduce their numbers. I have needed medical marijuana for some time and there were more legal dispensaries available before Proposition 64 than now.

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I say that rather than spending large amounts of taxpayer resources to, in essence, play a whack-a-mole game trying to stop the many nonlicensed dispensaries that pop up regularly and to decrease the number of illegal growers, spend some of that money streamlining the licensing process and working with financial institutions to offer banking services.

I encourage state legislators and Gov. Gavin Newsom to support Ting’s proposal and actually follow the will of the people.

George Poitou, Ontario

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To the editor: So Ting, an elected Assemblyman, wants the state government to “break a promise made to voters in 2016” because not enough communities in California have pot shops.

Really? Perhaps Ting is merely following the governor's example of forgetting what the voters said they wanted — twice — when he decided to effectively end the death penalty in California.

What’s next from our elected officials?

James McKellar, Arcadia

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To the editor: It’s easy for someone like Skelton to write about waiting to vote out representatives who refuse to honor the will of voters and license medical cannabis dispensaries in their cities. I can only guess that the well-being of his children is not at stake.

But the well-being of mine are. Safe and convenient access to medical cannabis is not a political choice for my family, it’s a necessity.

For too many patients across California, safe access to medical cannabis actually became more difficult since Proposition 64 passed almost two years ago. Assembly Bill 1356, the legislation written off by Skelton, would help people like me secure the medicine that my children need.

Sacramento has not only the right, but the responsibility to act when local cities and municipalities fail to do so.

Joni Hill, Hacienda Heights

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