By Bob Livesay
Special to the Herald
Tonight is the night the City Council will decide on cannabis in the city of Benicia. As a council, their most important issue is safety. When folks are looking for a place to move or set down their roots, safety is the single most important issue. The city of Benicia owns that issue. These new potential residents, along with the present ones, are not looking to see how many recreational cannabis stores the city has. That is not on the front burner. It is not even considered. Believe me, safety is their first priority.
There appears to be some confusion on the City Council on safety first. Some are driven by personal ideals, not what is good for this fine city. These members were not elected to express their personal agenda ideals. They were elected to represent this fine city’s residents. Cannabis is a hot issue, and some seem to think it is
in vogue to get aboard the recreational cannabis retail issue. It appears some on the council are giving every excuse they can think of to put retail cannabis in Benicia. They have forgotten the residents and future residents and their desires. It is not recreational cannabis stores.
This council appears to ignore the educators who are saying “Please do not do this.” Pay attention. That group represents a very large portion of the residents. They know the issues.
I also believe our very fine police chief fully understands the safety issue. My gut feeling tells me there are some on this council that are ignoring the residents’ pleas. On Tuesday night, we shall see them in action with every excuse they can think of.
The issue is not the Benicia Industrial Park cannabis. It will not have retail. That is where the jobs and revenue are, not in retail cannabis stores. Yes, some on the City Council we be tempted to look at the recreational retail cannabis issues and put forth some personal ideas why it is good for the city. It is not. It will not do anything to enhance the image or to make this city the big draw in Solano County. Retail cannabis will be all over the area. There are plenty of places to go get it.
Please respect the desires of our very fine residents and the educators. I will make the plea for the council to vote no on recreational cannabis storefronts in this very fine city. Councilmembers, please do your duty first and leave your personal agenda driven ideals on the table. Please remember safety comes first as an elected official. I will attend the meeting and will keep my eye on the councilmembers who are for it. Vote “no” on recreational retail cannabis in Benicia.
Bob Livesay is a Benicia resident.