Solana Beach school board passes resolution in opposition of Measure S

Solana Beach residents will vote on Measure S this November, which would repeal prohibitions on commercial cannabis.
Solana Beach residents will vote on Measure S this November, which would repeal prohibitions on commercial cannabis.
(File photo by Eduardo Contreras)

The Solana Beach School District board adopted a resolution Oct. 8 opposing Measure S, an initiative on the November ballot that seeks to repeal prohibitions on commercial cannabis storefronts and cultivation in the City of Solana Beach.

“Repealing current prohibitions would raise the risk to the Solana Beach School District students by normalizing marijuana, thereby contributing to use by youth with negative consequences for their physical and mental health, and jeopardize their academic achievement and overall health,” stated the board’s resolution.

Currently, all commercial cannabis activities are prohibited in Solana Beach. The initiative would authorize two marijuana dispensaries without size restrictions in non-residential zones. Per the proposed ordinance, dispensaries would not be located within 600 feet of one another or a public school.

Measure S would also allow certain cultivation in all zones in Solana Beach. Medical marijuana cultivation would not be allowed within 1,000 feet of schools, community centers or parks and not on premises with any religious or youth-oriented facilities or child care center.

At the board’s Oct. 8 meeting, SBSD President Julie Union said while Solana Beach’s public schools have protection, retail dispensaries could be located near private schools, daycare centers or youth and community centers.

Union, SBSD Vice President Debra Schade and board member Dana King are all signers in the arguments against Measure S in the ballot, as were several Solana Beach City Council members.

“This is a business opportunity to create rules that are much more relaxed than our own city codes,” said King. “This is really an end-run around municipal governments which is the very reason Solana Beach exists as a city because as a county we were not getting any of the land use or any of the controls that the city offers now.”

Peggy Walker, a Solana Beach resident and public health educator, thanked the board for acknowledging the “potential harm to children and to the healthy environment in which we hope to raise our families.”

“You are an example to parents and voters that it’s time to say no to an aggressive addiction for-profit industry that preys on young people,” said Walker, who is also a signee on opposition to Measure S on the ballot.

Judi Strang of the San Dieguito Alliance for Drug Free Youth also spoke in support of the board’s action against having “pot shops” in Solana Beach.

“The one thing that we know about addiction is that it is driven by normalization that happens when our young people are surrounded by it both in retail settings and the advertising that comes with it,” Strang said.

The argument in favor of Measure S, authored by representatives from the Cannabis Nurse Network, Grow for Vets and Solana Beach resident Monica Mendoza, states that the community deserves to have a safe and regulated cannabis program for medical or adult use in commercial or industrial zones. The ballot language states that 61% of Solana Beach residents supported Prop 64 and elected city leaders have “ignored the will of the voters” for the past four years.

“Solana Beach residents should not have to travel distances to exercise their right to use cannabis. In fact, without this Initiative, Solana Beach residents are currently buying their cannabis from other cities with all of the tax benefits going elsewhere,” the argument in favor states.

Per the proposed ordinance, dispensaries would require specific security measures such as security guards, surveillance video and ID verification. If the initiative passes, it can only be amended or repealed by a vote of the people.

To read more about Measure S, visit