Letter to the Editor: Fight just starting

Let’s be honest, the city council voted just sold out the main value of our community – allowing us to raise our kids in a great community. On January 15th, the City Council of Martinez, voted 3-0 to allow a cannabis dispensary to be located less than 1000 feet from Alhambra High School. The vote is done, and the fight has just begun.

How do we, the people of Martinez, fight this fight?

First is to make sure Embarc at 3501 Alhambra is not successful. If the site cannot make a sale, then the business doors close naturally. Here are some ideas on how to make sure it never succeeds.

Let the Miller family know that you will not be doing any business at that site. Tell your friends that Embarc will be having another site on Pacheco Ave. If people do want to support their business venture they can buy at the other site, less than 10 minutes away from Alhambra Ave.

Let the Millers know that going from a family that represented us in the House of Representative to a cannabis dealer is not a step up but a huge step down. It is ok to let them know how disappointed you are in them. Let them know they have ruined 50 plus years of community trust and they will now need to rebuild it. We wish them well just not at 3501 Alhambra Avenue.

The second part is to flip the council. The permit granted to Embarc was a conditional one-year permit. If we can flip the council with three members that would honor the community’s family values, we could keep Embarc from getting the permit renewed after one year.

No matter where you live in Martinez, realize your personal net worth took a hit on this vote. The reason they did not put a dispensary in downtown was because the business owner worried it would devalue their property. Basically, Martinez has gone from a 5 Starbucks town to a 5 Starbucks and 3 cannabis dispensary town. Yep, we have almost as many as dispensary as we do Starbucks. Martinez is one of the leading cities in Contra Costa in the actual number of dispensaries. I am sure your realtor will include that fact in your house listing when they sell your house.

This council publicly acknowledge they did not want a dispensary downtown per the request of the downtown business owners. What about the value of our property as individual homeowners? There are more single homeowners then downtown business landowners. Yet the few downtown business landowners were protected and we, individual homeowners, absorbed the hit to our personal net worth. Luckily, we have more votes at the ballot box then the downtown landowners. Let’s make sure the next council represents our rights as diligently as the current council represents the downtown business landowners’ rights.

Embarc, the Millers, and the council can pretend they share our value to raise our kids in a loving and supporting community. But their actions speak volumes. I honestly feel they missed judge us and how strong we feel about our kids. Embarc can have a successful store on Pacheco Avenue, but 3501 Alhambra Ave should not get one dollar from us. The council should be changed. It is up to us to decide if we want to engage in this fight to keep our town the great town it is to raise a family.

Get your clubs, your churches, and your social groups to take a stand against Embarc at 3501 Alhambra Ave. Tell everyone not to do business there. We have one year to make Embarc unprofitable and want to close its door on its own. If not, we can still flip the council with people that truly value raising kids in a safe, loving community before Embarc one-year conditional permit is up.

Bring on the fight, I say.

– John Fuller

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