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Alameda: Trustees don’t want marijuana businesses near schools

Trustees with the Alameda Unified School District want any marijuana business to be at least 1,000 feet from any school, pointing to research that shows marijuana can be especially harmful to young people.

Trustees also want revenue generated from pot clubs and dispensaries — predicted to be up to $1.6 million annually — used for education and counseling students, especially since their use of marijuana could rise after it becomes legal.

“Whatever we as a community can do to limit this risk to our children is a step in the right direction,” Trustee Jennifer Williams said.

School district leaders have no authority to determine where marijuana businesses may be located or how the tax dollars should be spent.

But they still want to send a message to Alameda officials as they now work to craft rules for cannabis in Alameda.

“We think there is definitely (going to be) an impact on the students we serve,” Superintendent Sean McPhetridge said.

California voters approved the medicinal and recreational use of cannabis in November last year. The state law will kick in Jan. 1.

Trustees voted unanimously Sept. 26 to adopt a resolution calling for any cannabis business to be far from schools, as well as any district day-care center.


Related: Rules for marijuana use in Alameda now being drafted

Cannabis could generate up to $1.6 million annually in Alameda


Sharon Golden of the Alameda Island Cannabis Community said she would prefer the locations be decided on a case-by-case basis.

“We live on an island, not like sprawled out San Jose, right?” Golden said. “That’s kind of not realistic. We are very much compacted because we are an island.”

The resolution noted research by the California Department of Public Health that shows early marijuana use can impair school performance and increase the likelihood of students dropping out of high school.

The research also shows that cannabis use can increase among adolescents in states or jurisdictions that had legalized commercial marijuana.

Along with setting out rules for dispensaries, such as where they could be located, the city’s regulations likely will address cultivating the plant, as well as other activities associated with a marijuana business.

The city will hold a cannabis workshop from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 21 in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Ave.


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