A public listening session on cannabis regulation in L.A. County was held at The Castaic Sports Complex on Saturday. Residents of SCV had the opportunity to give input on a variety of discussion topics including the location of cannabis businesses, youth exposure and more.
“Let’s do this right, let’s go to the community first…then we can take that into consideration when we write up the regulations,” said Cheri Thomas, a senior manager with the Office of Cannabis Management in L.A. County.
Some 50 people gathered in Castaic, offering input in small, group discussions consisting of less than 10 people each. Discussion topics included equity and economic development, personal cultivation, taxation and revenue, general concerns as well as the two listed above. The county provided background information regarding the passage of Proposition 64 before people assembled in group discussions.
Varying opinions regarding marijuana legalization were presented by different individuals at the listening session.
“One of the concerns that comes out is the protection of our youth,” said Thomas “What we see in Colorado is their perception of risk tends to increase when they start to see adults utilize it.”
She also emphasized that a person’s brain continues to develop as they grow up, even at 18 years old. Marijuana use has the potential to affect that development.
Although, there was one item that multiple people agreed on regarding marijuana—that cannabis presents medicinal benefits to its users. Two such people who expressed this notion were long-time SCV residents Greg Powell of Saugus and Barbara Cochran of Newhall.
When asked about marijuana legalization in L.A. County, the two individuals emphasized the medicinal benefits of marijuana, which they learned about from personal experience.
Powell is a business owner in SCV with ten employees, a veteran, president of the Rotary Club and has many more titles to tout.
He has myriad injuries stemming from his hobby of motorcycling, and he does not need to take any prescription. He says there is one medicine that gives him relief: marijuana.
“I smoke weed every day,” he said.
This sentiment regarding the medicinal effects was repeated by Cochran, a resident of SCV since 1968. In fact, she said her son owned a marijuana dispensary but was pushed out of Los Angeles, and into Rosamond. With all of her personal experience regarding marijuana, she believes the passage of Proposition 64 was a good thing.
“To me, it was a very positive thing,” she said.
This Castaic listening session was the 13th of 18 that were held all over Los Angeles County this past month.