Speech for the planning and zoning committee of Lake Mary Florida regarding medical marijuana dispensaries.

25 Jul

Ladies and gentlemen of the zoning and planning committee thank you for your time. 

Lake Mary is a beautiful and prosperous city and we thank you for much of your past efforts.
While I reside in Winter Springs I do a lot of my shopping in Lake Mary because there are unique retail centers that I can find nowhere else. I also coach quite often at the YMCA.
About every 6 to 8 weeks my fellows and I volunteer to pick up trash along Lake Mary Boulevard. In doing so we see the numerous free market enterprises that exist. There are doctors offices and fast food restaurants, there are health clubs and automotive service centers. There are pharmacies. There are empty storefronts. 
We have a stake in it’s future.  
I asked that you either find a creative solution to medical marijuana dispensaries, or that you give the city commission the greenlight to treat them as other pharmacies. 

The pill mills similarities are prejudicial and incongruous..there is no precedence of violence nor black market activities in dispensaries that led to the banning of the pill mills. 

The introductory language of “popping up” is prejudiced and irresponsible. 

The city attorneys words on delivery and whatever else anyone else is doing is prejudicial and irresponsible. The mention of federal funds and the mention of recreational use is irresponsible.

I ask you disregard your own arguments. 

While the statement that MMTC’s are not similar to other pharmacies is true, it’s an incomplete statement and ignores facts as well. 
MMTC’s operate much stricter. They do not sell Junk food or drugs over the counter, they do not sell alcohol or anything else where any minors or even shoplifters may have the chance to get them. It’s another faulty comparison and false dichotomy. I ask you disregard that argument as well. 

They are much more like dry cleaners, one service with specific products, only dry cleaners carry much more harmful chemicals and are not a newly constitutionally guaranteed right. 

The Planning and Zoning Division staff is responsible for all short and long range planning duties. It is staff’s goal to ensure that all development review occurs in an expeditious manner and that we assist all customers in achieving their timelines.

This is directly off of your website. I would ask that you stick to it. The reefer madness that tells us we need special consideration  neither matches the state legislatures guidelines for dealing with these dispensaries, nor the reality of how they operate.

The scare tactics are uninformed hyper vigilance at best, purposeful misinformation at worst and unfortunately more likely the case.

Either way reference the ballot returns for the precincts in the city. You’ll find they mirror the state as a whole. And when it comes down to it that is your ultimate authority.

Companies who wish to open a dispensary will have a fiduciary duty of doing their own market research to make sure that there are no other dispensaries with whom to compete in proximity, that there are a viable number of customers with both the prescription and the issued ID card within their marketable area, and of course the due diligence to make sure they operate a safe and lawful business that they know will be under a microscope. The zoning regulations almost take care of themselves. 

These businesses are going to be operated under such scrutiny and that no matter what safe landing plan you come up with, and let’s be honest the commissioners want a safe landing so that they don’t have to take responsibility for a yes or no vote they can just say it was a zoning issue, these operators are going to have to regulate themselves more than you could dream of doing. And that’s the organic free market as it should be. 

I’m asking you as a potential customer who’s watching city after city fall to the reefer madness putting alternative medicine farther and farther away from my doorstep, who currently pays higher insurance premiums and is having to jump through hoops to get a life insurance policy because of my ulcerative colitis, to return a recommendation to the city Council that fits within your self described mission,

Let’s be honest, this issue is as much about the right to our own lives and what we put in our bodies, the liberties we have a civilized society where a planning and zoning commission is often necessary, what we can and cannot buy as our own property with our own money ,as it is about whether or not our elected officials are listening when we speak and are accountable to the votes cast and the votes we will cast.

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Posted by on July 25, 2017 in Uncategorized


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