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Danville OKs moratorium on marijuana facilities

Original post made on Oct 9, 2009

Rumors that a medical marijuana dispensing facility might be shopping for a storefront in Danville prompted fast action Tuesday from the Town Council. The action follows a recent lawsuit by Walnut Creek attempting to eject a business owner who set up a dispensary in that city.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 8, 2009, 5:30 PM

Comments (22)

Posted by Julia, a resident of Alamo
on Oct 9, 2009 at 7:41 am

WOW...What a crazy society we live in...we have bar's and pharmacy's that dispense more deadly drugs than marijuana, but we couldn't care less about those.

I happen to have a very dear friend that doesn't drink or smoke, but 6 years ago was diagnosed with cancer. She is going through hell, pain most of you marijuana haters wouldn't handle for 5 minutes. But stomp out the medical marijuana shop. And for the shallow minded in the town council, I wish you never experience this type of pain.

As long as you get votes from the uninformed, do what they want. Your not in office to think, only to flow with wind.

Danville...what a place...

Okay, Rick and all you informed people, go at it...

Thanks Julia,

PS. Delores, I hope this simple message doesn't hit your new red delete button.

Posted by Freckle, a resident of Danville
on Oct 9, 2009 at 8:17 am

Our society is crazy! I agree with Julia that the bars and the pharmacies "dispense" drugs that are far more damaging to our society. Get a grip people! Kids will find a way to get marijuana whether it is in there own backyard or not. I certainly would rather get cannabis, if I had a prescription, in a suburban dispensary than drive the freeways to Oakland or San Francisco. There is way too much hoopla around the "Marijuana Issue."

Posted by Joseph, a resident of Danville
on Oct 9, 2009 at 8:48 am

THANK YOU, Danville Town Council. Glad to see there are some people in our community in responsible positions, who have good sense and use good judgement.
Until marijuana becomes medically acceptable and the derived medicine is sold in normal pharmacies, dispensed according to prescriptions by certified doctors - by all means keep the store-front dispensaries out of this community.
It is sad to see that our society has become so complacent that that some in our community are accepting the fact that "Kids will find a way to get mirajuana. . . . ," see nothing wrong with it, nor try to educate kids about the ill effects. Once again,a hearty THANKS to the Danville Town Council. Despite the vocal marijuana users, the majority of the town's residents and parents back you up 100%.

Posted by Ellen, a resident of Alamo
on Oct 9, 2009 at 8:49 am

I support marijuana as a choice for those with medical needs for it. But as a former business owner in downtown Oakland with a dispensary on my block, I experienced daily the negative aspects of the dispensaries. The large majority of "patients" were young men in their 20's with no apparent need. When asked, most of them said they had marijuana prescriptions because they were depressed or anxious. For every cancer patient, burn vicim, or person with obvious physical afflictions, there were 40-50 able bodied young people daily. Prescriptions are very easy to obtain. Then there are the people who "hang out" on the block hoping to panhandle from the patients or score some of the marijuana just purchased. The people who operate the dispensary were good neighbors and did what they could to minimize the negative effects on their neightbors, but I would never again open a business on a block with a dispensary.

Posted by Purdue, a resident of Danville
on Oct 9, 2009 at 9:43 am

Great job by town council in moving quickly to stop an attempt to move a marijuana shop into our town! Although I have sympathy for those with actual real medical conditions that would benefit from marijuana, the inability to regulate it, and huge potential for fraud and abuse, mandates that we never allow these type of shops into Danville. If the government is to allow these type of places, they should only be in large urban cities, preferably connected to a police station or other law enforcement agency. Putting them in a small, family oriented town like Danville is absolutely inappropriate, as small towns do not have the resources to deal with all the adverse affects on the community.

Posted by Concerned, a resident of Alamo
on Oct 9, 2009 at 10:58 am

The "medical needs" aspect is absolute BS. Who do you think you are kidding? This is an obvious move by the drug "community" to get this drug more readily available to everyone. Make it Perscriptions for Cancer sufferers ONLY and pick up the goods at CVS. Then I support the distribution and use 100%. To allow this outlaw retail outlet would be a terrible blight on the Danville area community. Wrong message for young people. THANK YOU DANVILLE CITY MANAGEMENT! (but get ready for the lawsuit!)

Posted by Reader, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Oct 9, 2009 at 1:51 pm

I am wondering if those of you who are against this dispensary also live by an ideology that more government intervention in business and the economy means more problems for our people? But in this case it seems that you DO want government to intervene in business. You can look at any research and find that their are health, economic, and social benefits of marijuana and marijuana dispensaries.

Like so many on both ends of the political spectrum... we can't have our cake and eat it too. Stick to your beliefs and stop judging those who have different lifestyles or health problems that you are incapable or unwilling to understand.

If you think Danville, both adults and children, are drug free, then clearly you are living in a strange prism. Its time to confront reality and accept that people use marijuana for all kinds of purposes and start taking an educated stance about its potential benefits and risks in a community, even a small one like Danville.

Posted by Diane, a resident of Danville
on Oct 9, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Julia, thank you and I agree with you completely. Until your own family has found this as the only treatment that allows someone you love to avoid vomiting to the point of malnutrition and resulting hospitalization, you don't have the knowledge (or apparently empathy) to understand how life saving it can be. For my brother, Marijuana was the only thing that kept him from starving to death. As a person who avoided all chemicals (until the chemo) it was really tough to convince him to give it a shot, but it helped tremendously. Watching him waste away to a fraction of his former weight was devastating - we were grateful that his physician saw the value in this prescription.

I have 2 kids in high school here in Danville, and would have no issue whatsoever with establishing a dispensary here.

Posted by Pete, a resident of Danville
on Oct 9, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Diane: I have empathy for your brother, and understand the importance of marijuana for his health. However, Danville is not the proper place for such a store. Our town council must look out for the best interest of the majority of the Danville residents, and clearly it is not in the best interest of the majority of Danville residents to have a pot store in our little town. Larger cities, like Oakland, San Jose, or San Francisco are better suited to handle this type of business. Those cities are close enough for the few people in small towns who honestly need the pot to go to to obtain the pot, without causing all the problems to our little town.

Posted by Diane, a resident of Danville
on Oct 9, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Pete, I appreciate your thoughtful response (truly). Until my family was faced with this issue, I would have agreed. I think there are more than a few people in Danville that would benefit from this (there are other medical uses besides chemotherapy relief - there are other drug side effects that warrant this drug as well). For us, it was incredibly difficult to provide help for my brother while keeping him in close proximity to his physician and the hospital that was treating him. To add to the many trips and taking care of his shopping, household, bills, etc. a trip to the marijuana dispensary in Berkeley was just one more task that took me away from my family. I can't help but see this as a "not it my back yard" issue considering our experience, yet I do understand where you are coming from as well.

Posted by Reader, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Oct 9, 2009 at 3:18 pm

I can't help feel like the sentiment among the anti-dispensary poster is that somehow Danville is better than other East bay towns or cities. "Larger cities, like Oakland, San Jose, or San Francisco are better suited to handle this type of business." What do you mean by that? Do you insinuate that there are more "druggies" in urban areas? If so, I believe you have an incredibly frayed perception of pot users and dispensaries. Danville and its inhabitants are no better or worse than any other individual or town in this world. We are full of people from all walks of life.

I think the first thing we need to do is educate our community about the benefits of marijuana use and that it should not be viewed as soemthing that "bad" kids do on the Iron Horse trail.

Posted by Reader, a resident of Danville
on Oct 9, 2009 at 4:50 pm

Issue is not whether Danville is "better" than larger, urban cities, like Oakland or San Francisco. Issue is the ability of a small city to regulate, enforce, and deal with all the issues that would arise from a marijuana shop in Danville. Morever, to "Reader, A Walnut Creek resident", issue does not concern you, since you do not reside in Danville. Your views on Danville having a marijuana shop, are irrelevant, just like my views on Walnut Creek(where you reside)having a marijuana shop are irrelevant. Spend your energy fighting for your marijuana shop in your town, not mine.

Posted by Joseph, a resident of Danville
on Oct 9, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Yes, Reader- Danville IS a better place to live than other East Bay cities such as Oakland San Francisco, and San Jose. And, we are proud and determined to keep it that way.
Our goal should be to improve the quality of life for residents and the children of those communities that are plagued with rampant dependency abuses, rather than spreading the misery to small communities such as Danville. Yes, there are drug using adults and adolescents in our community as well, we all know that. But to shrug this off and say "OH HUM," and invite with open arms additional opportunities to tempt innocent new users is plain folly. We have doctors and pharmacies that are well suited to dispense appropriate medication. If pot is one such medication, let it be dispensed at the pharmacy, not a store front establishment.

Posted by Dawn, a resident of Alamo
on Oct 10, 2009 at 9:56 am

IMHO, the bottom line is that which has been stated by Joseph and others...

If marijuana is a legally dispensable drug, legally available only by prescription, then let's stop all this 'dispensary' nonsense and treat it as such.

Legally controlled drugs are 'dispensed' at your pharmacy upon presentation of a doctor's prescription. Their manufacture is regulated and taxed. Someone somewhere will make a profit (gasp!) from the manufacture and sale.

(There will likely be some pharmacists who, for personal reasons, feel it is their right to refuse selling this substance to people. That's a different can of worms.)

If the people of the state of CA have voted to legalize this drug, that's how it should be handled.

If, however, we're going to continue to leave the current morass of legalities the way they are, then perhaps doctors who are legally allowed to prescribe this substance should be the ones doing the dispensing as well...? That has its own inherent potential abuse issues.

Just a thought.

Posted by Greg, a resident of Danville
on Oct 10, 2009 at 10:40 am

I am not sure why we should let a group of closed minded people make a decision for the people who really need this product. Why should we have to risk our lives to go to Oakland or Berkeley to by what we need to survive. Let alone the waste of gas and time. Open your is going to be leagized soon anyway. Maybe if some of the council people were in our shoes they would have a different view! It surely cannot be any worse than Mennars and Elliot's. I have never seen a stoned person out starting a fight or causing trouble unless of course they are drinking alcohol too. Maybe they should look at getting rid of some of these routty hangouts for drunks. You council members need to get your heads out of the sand you act like this will ruin our town or something. Actually, I think that it should be sold in drug stores but until that happens there is nothing wrong with the way they are selling it now. As many times that I have gone to Berkeley I have never seen any trouble. Everyone is very calm and I have never seen any kind of trouble. Maybe a strip club would be better in town?????? GET YOUR HEADS OUT OF THE SAND !!!!!!!

Posted by Sad, a resident of Danville
on Oct 10, 2009 at 11:57 am

Here we go again. Why are the liberals always so persistent that everyone has to bend to their whims, no matter if it is pot, drugs, same sex marriage,etc etc. They are always quick to call anyone who does not agree as "close minded" "crazy" and other derogatory names used by writers in the above comments. Sarcasm seems to flow freely- - no we don't need a strip club anymore than we need a store front drug dispensary. If you want to close bars, go ahead.
I suppose in our free country, pot users have the right to get stoned, but I have the right to object to stoned people influencing my children or operate vehicles on the same roads where children play.
With my brother fighting cancer for the last three years, I know how desperate we all are to alleviate pain and find cures. The answer is to regulate and properly dispense any and all medication.
No we are not closed minded, no matter that we don't agree with your idealistic propositions that try to force unwanted changes on the entire neighborhood/state/country.

Posted by Just so you know, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Oct 10, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Just so you know is a registered user.

Typical NIMBY attitude by a typical holier-than-thou council.

Posted by Julia, a resident of Alamo
on Oct 11, 2009 at 7:52 am

Well...I read a lot of very interesting takes on the subject. I did read much sarcasm in the above post. I've read much more sarcasm in other subject matters.

Delores, as you can see, when the subject matter is close to home you get more participation. Keep these great subject matters flowing.

By the way, I also wish medical marijuana would be dispensed at our local pharmacy. This would be the proper method of handling the issue.

Thanks Delores for publishing this issue. And folks, please get away from thinking Danville is a holier-than-thou community. Marijuana and where you get is the least of Danville's drug problem.

Posted by Diane, a resident of Danville
on Oct 11, 2009 at 9:28 am

Julia, very well written post. I'm finding that it is the exception rather than the rule to simply state your position on this forum rather than verbally attack and label those that are of a different mindset.

Though I strongly support local access to marijuana for those who benefit medically from its properties, I understand the concern regarding how it is dispensed and that some will find ways to obtain and abuse this drug. As "Sad" is concerned about people driving around stoned (assuming that this is not happening now, with the many other sources for marijuana?) if we have a dispensary, I worry about those who leave Elliott's and other establishments and doing the same.

As a group responding to this subject, we're not so different in our concern for our community. To look at those with different opinions as "less than" in some way unfortunately gives us no reason to consider the position of our neighbors.

Posted by Just so you know, a resident of Walnut Creek
on Oct 11, 2009 at 10:19 pm

Just so you know is a registered user.

Julia - Sorry, but it's a holier-than-thou council. Frankly, they are some of the most arrogant people that I've ever seen. I've worked with the Lafayette and Orinda councils on issues and find they are much more approachable, flexible, and willing to work with folks with whom they may disagree. Their councils are similar in make up as far as gender, socioeconomic status, religions, etc. So, the only factor I can attribute it to is arrogance. Gotta call it as I see it. Sorry if it offends and if it does then you might approach the council members about their attitudes.

Posted by Rufous, a resident of Alamo
on Oct 12, 2009 at 1:22 pm

Decriminilize marijuana- just don't get hooked on it as a revenue source. Taxing pot to pay for schools is like taxing prostitution to promote celibacy.

Posted by KNator, a resident of Danville
on Oct 13, 2009 at 9:48 am

As a Danville business owner in the food & beverage business (and no, I won't tell you which one, due to the possibility of the pitchforks coming out), I can tell you a few things as it relates to drug abuse, NIMBYism, and whether or not Danville has a holier-than-thou attitude. Here's my take:

1) Compared to ANY other city I've owned a business (and I've owned 'em in some big ones and some small ones like Danville), the amount of alcoholism, binge drinking, cocaine, and prescription medication abuse in Danville is STAGGERING.

2) The reason why #1 is not better known or understood is because of the over-reliance on lawyers and therapists. For all the talk in Danville of personal responsibility, the reality is that when it comes down to a DUI or some other infraction, the majority of residents would rather 'lawyer up' than accept their fault.

3) On the subject of DUIs, I know that many residents and business owners complain of over-enforcement. While I agree that the Danville PD is probably at a loss for things to do to keep themselves occupied, I would also say that I've seen an inordinate number of folks in this town REFUSE to take cabs (even after begging from my staff!) and then proceed to drive while obviously intoxicated.

4) As it pertains to medical marijuana, don't kid yourselves, people - marijuana is for all intents and purposes LEGAL. It is being grown in Danville RIGHT NOW. Danville residents purchase it from local dealers, or travel into SF or Oakland if they don't have a local connect. I would go so far as to venture that over 3/4 of Danville residents between the ages of 21-40 smoke pot regularly.

5) With regard to Danville being a "family" town, the divorce, philandering, and scandal in this town belies its status in this area. I've seen 40-something moms with 20-something daughters out "partying" with each other (doing coke, drinking to excess, etc.) and hitting on the same 20-something boys. I've heard women brag in great detail of their "pool-boy" side-dishes. I've heard men brag in great detail about how many women they've slept with under the noses of their supposedly-faithful wives. Again, I would venture that the divorce rate in Danville is most likely higher than that of any of its peers.

In short, I believe that Danville is a highly dysfunctional community, one that tries desperately to keep up the false appearance of high morals and small-town values. In reality, it is a base, nouveau-riches, hypocritical place that once had the glory of being a truly idyllic ranching and farming community.

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