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Moreno Valley school officials oppose pot legalization

By in Press Enterprise on November 15, 2017

By Imran Ghori

As Moreno Valley opens the doors for marijuana sales, school officials are raising concerns about the city’s action.

Four members of the Moreno Valley Unified School District Board of Education said Tuesday, Nov. 14 that they opposed the City Council’s decision to legalize most aspects of the marijuana trade. One board member, Evan Morgan, was absent.

Board member Gary Baugh called the action “bad public policy,” saying it will make marijuana more accessible to youth.

“We felt like we need to protect the children who are our students and not have it so accessible,” Baugh said.

Board members decided not to approve a formal resolution against the city decision, noting the council had already made its decision and that the district’s policy opposing marijuana use was clear.

Last month, the Moreno Valley City Council voted to create a permitting process to allow the full range of commercial cannabis activities permitted under Prop. 64 — cultivation, sales, testing and manufacturing.

The city would be the largest in the county to allow for sales and the most permissive in the Inland area.

A temporary ban on marijuana sales expired Oct. 31 after a divided City Council could not agree on how long to extend the ban.

Without the ban, the city will not have any rules in place regulating where cannabis businesses can or cannot operate when statewide recreational sales begin in January. Under state law, businesses cannot be within 600 feet of schools or other places children congregate.

School board members said they hope the city limits the number of businesses allowed and sets stricter land-use rules.

“600 feet isn’t very far,” school board member Susan Smith said of the state law.

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