Guest Commentary | Proposed WAMM cannabis dispensary in an appropriate location – Santa Cruz Sentinel

By Ben Rice

Santa Cruz City Schools Superintendent Kris Munro sent a letter to parents warning of a catastrophe: A proposed cannabis dispensary, partly owned by a nonprofit that provides affordable medicine for patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, pediatric epilepsy and more — WAMM (Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana/WAMM Phytotherapies) — that would open on Mission Street at Laurel at the former site of Emily’s Bakery.

Though the city Planning Department and Planning Commission both authorized this project, there is now an appeal before the Santa Cruz City Council, which will vote on May 14 to possibly reverse their decisions.
The public should be concerned over misinformation in the letter on two important points:

• 1. The letter claims the site is “a block … from Santa Cruz High … on a well-established walking route to and from school and during breaks for students at Santa Cruz High School and Mission Hill.“ This does not reflect reality. I taught Mock Trial for four years at Santa Cruz High, and I know the site is several blocks from the schools and that students overwhelmingly cross Mission at Walnut Street. They rarely walk or ride bikes on Mission to either school.

• 2. Those

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