On March 23, the Santa Monica Daily Press published a letter from local preschool teacher Lori Ayala in regards to possible medical marijuana collectives in Santa Monica. As someone who would be thrilled to see a place within our city limits to legally obtain medical marijuana; I have the sneaking suspicion the city council will not allow safe access for our Santa Monica residents. This is why I am asking the council to go even further and get rid of all the drug dealers within Santa Monica.

What Miss Ayala fails to mention in her concerned letter is the fact that these same students are within walking distance from places like Ralph’s, Rite-Aid, and CVS. At all of these locations, you can not only obtain drugs far more dangerous than cannabis, you can also at the same time purchase various forms of alcohol to wash them down with. Allowing this to happen sends the wrong message to kids.

From the recent death of rocker Wayne Static, to higher profile cases like Heath Ledger, “accidental” overdoses are not just a celebrity issue. According to the CDC over half of the 43,982 drug overdoses in American in 2013 were because of prescription drugs. There were zero reported overdoses from cannabis in America in 2013. From this stat alone, it’s clear that cannabis is not what’s harming our community and our focus should be on keeping everyone safe from these harmful yet accepted items of destruction.

So in the event the council makes the wrong choice and ends up preventing safe access of medical marijuana from the residents of Santa Monica who need it the most; I hope they make sure to keep the harmful drugs that actually kill thousands of individuals a year out of our community as well. Close down any CVS, Rite-Aid, Walgreens, Ralph’s, Vons, and mom-and-pop pharmacy that sell these dangerous items within walking distance from any one of the several schools within Santa Monica. After all, as Miss Ayala pointed out, West Los Angeles and Venice are not only filled with pharmacies, they are within walking distance of our small seaside community.

Justito Watt
Santa Monica

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