Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Dispensary Interferes with Plans to "Gentrify" SF's Mission District

By David Downs
Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Maybe go back to the Marina then, snitches.

A San Francisco Planning Commission hearing to permit a new pot club in the Mission District highlighted some pretty shameful opinions of Mission NIMBYs last week.

The “Morado Collective” at 2520 Mission St. would interfere with some local land owners' plans to "gentrify" the Mission, neighbors wrote. These landlords have since snitched on the proposed club to U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, in the hopes of stopping the dispensary. That's some despicable behavior, and they should be called to the mat on it, we feel.

Former bar of slumming Marina douches, Medjool - site of proposed Morado Collective
  • SF Planning Commission
  • Former bar of slumming Marina douches, Medjool - site of proposed Morado Collective

Prop 215 is the law of the land in this state, and San Francisco's dispensaries are a global model for regulation, with multiple independent reports that they've boosted neighborhood security, helped fight crime, and reduced litter. One study showed that the city's two-dozen clubs generated just 11 complaints in five years.

The Morado Collective is going to work closely with the non-profit Aguilas to provide pot to HIV/AIDs, cancer, and other terminally ill patients. The sick can use the drug to keep up an appetite and prevent wasting away from disease. Morado's operators should be lauded for standing up on behalf of all Californians, who face a morally bankrupt, wasteful federal crackdown on medical marijuana rights this year.

So it's embarrassing to hear of clueless, craven, money-hungry carpetbaggers working to sabotage a system that's worked.

And their motive? Greed. Some NIMBYs wrote that they worry property values might fall when the dispensary opens. They provide no supporting evidence that is the case. They also offer baseless fear of more crime, and most of all, more traffic.

“[Dispensaries] can attract bad people dealing with drugs on the street and increasing more parking issues which are increased lately these few years,” property owner Diego Sanchez wrote to the Commission.

If Mission District parking is a quality of life issue for you, maybe try Orange County.

“This shop will invite loads more undesirable people to our neighborhood,” wrote Kristina Barnes. “If you've seen Oakland City Center lately you'll know what something like this can do to a 'neighborhood'. Basically, it destroys it and makes it so that no one wants to come.”

So qualified patients visiting licensed dispensaries are “undesirable”, and in fact, they aren't people (“no one”) at all?

But truest of all is the line from Cat Twardos, who “recently moved into the neighborhood with my husband and two young children.”

Twardos describes how hard it is for the new locals working to "gentrify" the block, and make it safe for the new, rich techno-elite.

"While I am all for bringing business into the neighborhood, this is NOT the type of business that will gentrify and make the Mission a safer place to live and work,” Twardos writes.

We initially felt bad about calling out such yokels, but they made their prejudice public when they submitted public letters protesting the permit, and cc'd those letters to the local U.S. Attorney.

Philip Lesser, agent for the Mission Miracle Mile Business Improvement District wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, urging her to close the proposed dispensary. We urge Philip Lesser to move to Utah.

If this is the tenor of the debate in the epicenter of dispensary normalization, we can only imagine the crazy charges leveled against proposed clubs in Chico, or Butte. Devil worship? Bestiality?

The Planning Commission approved Morado Collective's permit August 16, on the condition that the operators pick up outside litter, pressure wash the sidewalks monthly, and don't bother the neighbors with odor or noise. If only the myriad bars and liquor stores in the Mission had similar conditions.

Morado Collective is perfectly placed far enough away from schools and parks, and will create 15-25 new, good-paying jobs, the Commission found.

“The proposed MCD is a small retail establishment that is located within the core of the Mission Street Neighborhood Commercial District,” the Commission found. “The proposed MCD helps maintain the desirability of San Francisco as a place to live and as an area in which to enjoy a particular cultural climate that is open to alternative and natural means of health care. This open cultural climate creates a comparative advantage for the City of San Francisco with respect to firm location.”

Hopefully, the irked homeowners can find a new community that suits their bigotry - we recommend Mobile, Alabama. Jerks.

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