Don’t be led down a rabbit-hole of misinformation

Having a cannabis dispensary here in my city would make it so much easier for me to access my medication.

I have been using medical marijuana for several years to treat the pain associated with fibromyalgia. Because it works so well, I have recently been able to re-enter the workforce. Having a dispensary here in my city would make it so much easier for me to access my medication and I would really rather have my tax dollars go to support the city I have lived in all my life.

I know I am not alone, and that makes it especially disturbing to read misinformation published in a Mirror advertisement and elsewhere. Tom Cantrell’s ad encouraging people to vote No on Prop 1 only serves to perpetuate false or misleading information, when what voters need is factual information.

For instance, he says allowing legal, regulated cannabis stores in the city signals acceptance to young minds that some drugs should be recreational. Kids have always known that cannabis, alcohol, and hard drugs are used recreationally. Since cannabis was legalized in and retail stores started operating in Washington, teen use has remained flat or fallen. Cantrell’s argument has no legs.

Then he states that there are cannabis stores 15-20 minutes from city center. That might be true if you drive, but many of us – especially those of us with health issues – don’t drive. Trust me, if you have to take a bus, it can take hours to make the round trip to a store in another city. And it’s exhausting.

Mr. Cantrell believes cannabis should be prescribed by a doctor and dispensed by a pharmacy tech. Just like serotonin, our own bodies produce endocannabinoids. Plus, do we really want Big Pharma to reap even more profits? If that’s the case, let’s stop allowing alcohol and cigarettes to be sold over the counter, too. Both kill hundreds of thousands of Americans every year. Cannabis has killed zero people in recorded history.

Cantrell believes, as many still do, that cannabis retailers don’t have banking relationships, and therefore keep loads of cash on hand that has to be protected by armed guards. First off, most stores I know of have banking relationships with credit unions. I’ve seen a few with security on-site, but I’ve never seen one who was armed. Probably because it’s federally illegal to enter a cannabis shop with a firearm, unless you’re a law enforcement official or part of an armored car pick-up service.

He also says that the tax revenue from retail cannabis stores wouldn’t pay the cost of two police officers and two cars per year. First of all, that’s confusing. Why would the city need to pay for two new police cars every year? And maybe the revenue wouldn’t pay for all the extra law enforcement we’d like, but it could sure pay for a lot of other services and programs that are important to the community.

Please don’t be led down a rabbit-hole of misinformation, misdirection and unfounded fears. Let responsible adults have reasonable access to an already legal product, and keep the revenue in Federal Way.

Jodi Johnson

Federal Way

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