By Horace Assar, Courier Staff Writer

Marijuana will soon be available in Union City retail stores and some commercial zones, including Union Landing.

Almost two weeks ago, Vice Mayor Pat Gacoscos, Councilwoman Emily Duncan, and Councilman Lorrin Ellis voted yes on the approval of bringing pot stores into Union City. The council voted 3-1 and the one who voted no was Councilman Gary Singh, while Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci was absent.

Deputy Mayor Mark Evanoff said, “businesses would need to present a plan to prevent youths from being exposed to marijuana business activity, provide adequate parking, limit operating hours, provide attractive storefronts and take steps to stop “loitering and undesirable behavior around the facility.”

He also said that potential stores should be located near the police station in case of any quick responses.

The following quotes are from Logan students on the topic:

“Bringing in pot stores is not a good idea, because more accidents will happen. A few of my family members smoke so they might visit these stores. Peer pressure made me do it and I wanted to see what would happen. I have done it around 10 times by receiving pot from friends who have dealers to supply them. Pot dealers will definitely be affected because of the regulations. They grow their own pot and they won’t be able to anymore because of the new rules the city will enforce.”

“More people will have access to it and the people who buy it will probably distribute it to the youth. They do it now but it will be worse. My family is very clean and it was the way I was raised, always say no. My mother always lectures me about it and tells me about Peer pressure. Weed dealers will go out of business, and someone older will get it and give it to the youth, but laws will be more strict.”

“I don’t really mind. It’s better to have stores than dealers, but some of the dealers will lose their jobs. Maybe whenever I want to smoke I will visit these stores. I stopped smoking now but when I did it was two to four times a week, but what got me to smoke was just out of my own curiosity. My friends get it from dealers who grow their own pot, usually people who have a big supply.”

“Easy access to marijuana and probably safer in that it will be at stores rather than on the streets being sold discreetly. It’s basically a way to hang with friends and my friends do it so I just tag along for fun. It’s a good experience. I only do it if my friends have it on them. So probably like once a month. It will definitely affect pot dealers on the street. Given that it will be provided in stores, people would resort to that since it’s safer and easier.”

A man who was already stoned said, “It’s amazing and I am excited, I will not visit these stores because I get pot from my co-workers. I smoke pot everyday. This will not affect anyone, it will just make things awesome.”

The city council will then hear a public meeting and ordinance will go in effect 30 days after the vote.

Any permitted marijuana businesses approved by the council are required to be located only in the light district and special industrial.

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