The San Francisco Planning Commission voted Thursday to shrink the buffer zone required between new marijuana dispensaries and schools from 1,000 feet to 600 feet. As the Chron reports, the commissioners voted 6 to 1 in favor of the new rule, listening to medical cannabis activists who spoke out against the existing rule which has forced the majority of the city's pot clubs into SoMa.
The move comes after a planning study that looked into potential impacts of a rule change, and suggested that greater accessibility is needed for patients seeking legal pot who don't live near the "green zone" South of Market.
Supervisor John Avalos backed the new, smaller buffer rule, which won't go into affect until the full Board of Supervisors approves it. The new rule would also nix the previous ban on pot clubs within 1,000 feet of playgrounds and youth-serving recreation facilities, opening the door for more legal pot to arrive near you very soon.
This all marks a reversal to the federal crackdowns of 2011 and 2012, and a slap in the face to the feds who forced the shutdown of several prominent dispensaries in town over these very same buffer-zone rules, including the Vapor Room in the Lower Haight, and the Divinity Tree in the Tenderloin.
Meanwhile, the Chronicle issued this editorial titled "San Francisco doesn't need more pot clubs," suggesting that the city has been fairly prudent on this issue so far, and until more certain, statewide guidelines can be established, individual "neighborhoods don't need another challenge."
Whether or not having medical marijuana 400 feet closer to schools is going to make more kids try pot remains to be seen. Chances are they were gonna try it anyway. And is the Chronicle's editorial team implying that existing pot clubs have attracted more sketchy or illegal activity to their immediate neighborhoods? Because I don't think there's any evidence of that.