Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Medical marijuana dispensaries in our City of Lake Worth. The question is not: ‘To Ban or Not To Ban’.

Medical marijuana is already “out of the bag” as they say. Dispensaries already in operation (see below) are not affected in any way within the municipal limits of this City.

UPDATE: See below to learn about what happened at the City Commission meeting last night on First Reading of a newly proposed ordinance.

Local governments are still trying to figure all this out and so is the public. Many of the misconceptions about marijuana persist despite the evidence and all the supporters of medical marijuana can do is just shake their heads. What this issue needs is leadership on the state level and hopefully when our state senators and representatives go to Tallahassee the new governor of Florida will get the message. Or maybe not.

First, let’s make this very clear. This City has two medical marijuana dispensaries in operation (Knox Medical and Curaleaf ) and neither of them will be affected by “Ordinance No. 2018-12” (see below). These two dispensaries are completely legal and are here to stay. Further discussions and items at City boards and at the City Commission will only address future establishments and whether or not they will be permitted to open up any more marijuana dispensaries within the municipal limits.

In other words, that particular question is, “To Ban [future dispensaries] or Not To Ban [future dispensaries]”. 


At the City Commission meeting last night was this information from PBSO Cpt. Todd Baer, a “Marijuana Dispensary Update”:

  • PBSO recently toured both facilities [Knox & Curaleaf].
  • Zero criminal complaints at either facility.
  • Minimal calls for service at either facility.

The item on the agenda last night:

Item 12B. Ordinance No. 2018-12 — First Reading, banning Medical Marijuana Treatment Center Dispensing Facilities within the City of Lake Worth and setting the second reading and public hearing for September 13, 2018.

The discussion at the City Commission lasted about 45 minutes and was about 15 minutes too long. Eventually Commissioner Herman C. Robinson called the question and the vote was unanimous to end discussion. The vote on First Reading was 4-1 with Commissioner Omari voting no.

So unless something tremendously big happens Ordinance 2018-12 will pass next month. Probably another 4-1 vote. To watch the discussion for yourself from last night click on this link.

For more background on this topic continue reading. Did you know. . .

Amendment 2 in 2016 approving medical marijuana passed County-wide by nearly 75%. In our City of Lake Worth the result was 79.02%, the 3rd highest result in all of Palm Beach County.

The critics of Amendment 2 still contend lamely the vote in 2016 was just a majority. Wrong. It passed by a super-majority statewide, a much higher standard.

And critics here in this City opposed to a medical marijuana dispensary opening up on N. Dixie Hwy. across from an elementary charter school went silent last February after the facts were explained by Commissioner Hardy. By the way, that particular elementary school just happens to be next to a convenience store that sells cigarettes and beer and also down the street approximately 0.4 miles away (about 2000′) is a crematorium as well. But anyhow. . . 

Second Reading of Ordinance No. 2018-12 will be held on September 13th.

And earlier this year Commissioner Hardy said,

“This November you will have an opportunity to affect this debate.”

If the topic of medical marijuana is of interest to you, specifically what local governments can do and cannot do when it comes to regulating medical marijuana dispensaries let’s take a stroll back to last February when Hardy took an elementary charter school principal back to school. And it should be noted Hardy is a school teacher himself.

Specifically, on the topic of medical marijuana, where they can and where they cannot be located and a little about the upcoming elections and about the role of elected officials from Palm Beach County who are higher up the political ladder and are sent every now and then to a place up north called “Tallahassee”:

“This November you will have an opportunity to affect this debate. So if you care about it, here is not the place to be!

Quote. District 2 Commissioner Hardy, Feb. 20th, 2018, from the dais at the City Commission.

One could say the blog post below is one
“Worth” another look now.

And it’s “Worth Noting” that Hardy is not one to avoid a debate  — with anyone, any time, on any topic — just as long as it doesn’t interfere with his duties as an elected official and as a teacher during the day.

Debate is one thing. But insulting and/or trying to lecture Hardy on a topic he is well-schooled in, especially when he’s sitting in public on the dais at a Lake Worth City Commission meeting, well, that is something else entirely.

Many wondered afterwards how the public would respond to Hardy’s quite strong and forceful response to an elementary charter school principal.

But if the silence since then is any clue. . .

In the video below please pay particular attention to what Hardy says at the 28:45–31:50 mark. To say it hits hard is an understatement. The discussion about this agenda item last February at the City Commission begins at the 22:30 mark in the video below. At one point, the principal of an elementary charter school gets up to speak and Commissioner Hardy responds beginning at the 28:45 mark.

Keep in mind this video is from February this year: