After strong community support leading to a successful referendum, the Keep Cannabis Away from Kids Coalition wishes to thank the Mount Shasta City Council for repealing the reduced buffer zone ordinance on June 10. The ordinance would have allowed cannabis manufacturing closer to schools, day care and youth centers than the 600-foot cannabis-free buffer zone promised in Prop. 64.

However, the referendum-caused repeal is only a one-year reprieve from the majority of this council being able again to squeeze the already high number of cannabis operations closer to schools. Even though nearly one-third of the electgorate opposed reducing school buffers, will the majority of the city council still continue to oversaturate the town with cannabis industry facilities? Lets look at the evidence.

In the June 19 edition of this newspaper the city paid for a notice calling for applications to open new cannabis businesses, this, while the town already has a higher concentration of active cannabis licenses per population than Emerald Triangle cities of Eureka and Arcata. The city’s online map indicating sensitive cannabis-free areas artificially and incorrectly reduces buffer zones around Sisson School and the I AM School by omitting large portions of the schools’ campuses, making it appear more buildings are available for cannabis operations than the correct application of the state 600-foot buffer zones allows.

Having succeeded in forcing the city council to honor the 600-foot buffer zone promise of Proposition 64, citizens will similarly demand that the council fairly and properly measure the buffer zone from the edge of a school campus to the closest lot line of a cannabis business. That is what the law requires and that is what we expect the city to do.

It appears the majority of this city council and city planner have hitched their wagon to a cannabis industry star. The KCAfK Coalition is exploring means to curb the expansion of the cannabis industry in residential neighborhoods and near schools, while continuing to honor Prop 64’s intent to allow citizens to use medical and recreational marijuana for personal use and provide reasonable access to supplies of same, regardless of who sits on the council or who holds the position of city Planner.

Tom Scovill

Mount Shasta