November 15, 2017 San Francisco
The fact that the supervisors of San Francisco are having a hard time agreeing on the rules for recreational marijuana is surprising, to say the least, considering that San Francisco has always been known as a cannabis-friendly city. The gist of the issue lies in the complaints of older Chinese immigrants who have voiced against the use of marijuana around children. This has caused the supervisors to think twice when deciding on where to allow stores for recreational marijuana.
In order to be ready for sales of recreational marijuana on January 1st, the board needed to vote on the temporary measure on Tuesday…and vote they did! The Board of Supervisors voted to hold off on the temporary measures and to allow the Board the time it needs to come to an agreement on the rules. The Board will take up the issue, again, after the Thanksgiving holiday but the fact of the matter is that the people of San Francisco will have to wait longer than January 1st to find new marijuana stores.
The possibility of overly strict regulation on cannabis in a pro-cannabis city like San Francisco is a surprising possibility. San Francisco is known for its group smoke-outs of Hippie Hill and for the smell of cannabis in certain neighborhoods and parks. Jeff Sheehy, a supervisor who relies on
However, some Chinese immigrants have voiced their discontent, calling for an outright prohibition of recreational marijuana stores in Chinatown. They’ve called, also, for all retail stores to at least be 1,500 feet away from all places of minor gatherings from now. When you consider a city that’s as compact as San Francisco, even a 1,000 feet buffer—that’s being considered by the Supervisors—appears to be impractical and overly restrictive.
Out of the 850,000 residents of San Francisco, one-third comprises of Asian population. When you consider the fact that Chinese-Americans comprise of the majority of this sub-group and how they have contributed to San Francisco, throughout the course of history, you’ve got to say that their concerns can’t be outright rejected. According to Ellen Lee, a nonprofit social worker, children are impressionable and need to be protected against such drugs that remain illegal under the federal law. She helps lead the protests, giving the reason that a majority of the people who are opposed to recreational cannabis are elderly and don’t speak English. According to her, all of their efforts, protests and meeting have had little to no impact on the elected officials, because they are, simply, “not listening”.
Supervisor Aaron Peskin, the representative of Chinatown, said on Monday that the Supervisors are not mere legislators. Rather, they are “group therapists” for 850,000 people, making it essential for them to understand the concerns of all kinds of people in the diverse city of San Francisco.