In June, the U.S. Conference of Mayors unanimously approved a resolution at their annual meeting calling for the federal government to end the wasteful war on marijuana. In late August, the U.S. Department of Justice took the step of allowing Washington and Colorado to implement legislation legalizing marijuana.

California voters passed Prop 215 in 1996 and the law stands that California permits and regulates marijuana for medical use. The Glendale City Council has had a ban on medical marijuana dispensaries since 2011.

Whether you personally think marijuana should be used or not, there is a measurable economic impact in Glendale. How many Glendale residents do you think drive to Los Angeles to purchase their medical marijuana? Glendale is giving its share of that tax revenue and jobs away. And for what?

Walking around my neighborhood in central Glendale, I notice the empty storefronts and commercial spaces with for-lease signs. I disagree with the cliche excuses like the dispensaries “attract crime” or “our children.” Security is tight at dispensaries. There are security doors you have to be buzzed through. A valid California identification and doctor’s recommendation are required and verified.

It's not a stretch to say the lack of medical marijuana dispensaries probably increases the prevalence of illegal drug dealers — those with no scruples will happily sell marijuana to children.

The Glendale City Council and mayor need to open discussion on the total ban and its rationale, if there ever was any.

Keith Simonsen
Glendale