Many of you already know the Board of Supervisors approved by a vote of 3 to 2 a Special Use Permit for Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Oracle. I, along with Supervisor Cheryl Chase, voted no on this proposal.
Even though I did support Proposition 203 in 2010 when it was brought to the voters of Arizona, I do not support the location that was selected for this dispensary in Oracle. I do agree that medical marijuana should be allowed for patients who sincerely need it to help with severe physical and psychological problems.
When you look over a map of the area, this dispensary is across from DeMarco’s Pizza where students gather and a school bus stops to pick up and drop off children. It’s next door to our Pinal County Public Health Services Clinic and on the main road leading into and out of Oracle. Everything is wrong with this particular location.
In fact, the Pinal County Planning and Zoning Commission agreed, they gave it a unanimous
recommendation of denial.
But this applicant for the Special Use Permit, Glenn Wilt Jr., pulled out all the stops when it came to trying to get this approved. He employed a big-time “hired gun” from Scottsdale, lobbyist Jason Rose, to develop a plan to make sure this dispensary would become a reality.
Mr. Wilt Jr. also hired a third party, Bloom Dispensaries, which has other dispensary locations across the state, to operate the facility in Oracle. Their representative addressed the board and basically gave a sales pitch for Bloom Dispensaries. Mr. Wilt Jr. and Jason Rose made sure that they got the point across that they wanted this dispensary in Oracle and at that specific location. There was no attempt to address the concerns of the residents who had a problem with this dispensary.
What really disturbed me was a mention that the amount of people who showed up to testify on this issue before the Planning and Zoning Commission intimidated a member of that commission (who also voted for denial). How can you be intimidated by a group of people who simply disagree on this proposal? This is a democracy. People are allowed to speak their mind, the Oracle residents were simply participants in the process.
In closing, my hope was that my fellow supervisors would listen to the people of Oracle and agree that this was not a good location for a Marijuana dispensary. I do thank Supervisor Chase for joining me in supporting the wishes of the majority of Oracle’s residents on this 3-2 split vote.
Pete Rios, Supervisor