Editor:

The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District Health and Safety District Advisory Committee is a group of parents and community members that includes several physicians and other healthcare professionals. Our group supports in principle the resolution recently passed by the Santa Monica High School Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) regarding the permitting process for up to two medical marijuana dispensaries that were approved in a June City of Santa Monica  zoning ordinance. While we certainly need to protect the availability of medical marijuana for those patients that it is appropriate for, we need to ensure that the marijuana dispensaries do not have a negative effect on our community’s children.

As our City staff studies the implementation of these dispensaries, we want to emphasize our particular support for a few aspects of the PTSA’s resolution. These include:

1) The dispensary shall be located at least 1,000 feet away from any school, daycare, nursery, playground, library, or youth-oriented establishment.

2) The dispensary must have a store security plan approved by the Santa Monica Police Department prior to opening.

3) No person under 18 be permitted on the premises. The dispensary will be required to display prominent signs and verify ID of all purchases.

4) Dispensary must verify and document that patients are residents of the city of Santa Monica. This is to prevent abuse of dispensaries by tourists.

5) No use of marijuana on premises or in associated parking lot.

Our committee looks forward to the report for the City staff and look forward to the opening of marijuana dispensaries in our community in a manner that is both just for our patients and safest for our children.

Sion Roy MD

Chair, SMMUSD Health and Safety DAC