Ray Martinez, a former city mayor and retired police officer said, It goes right to the issue of what is the true character of this community. What do we want the make-up of the community to be?"
He said that the latest profusion of medical marijuana centers beside the College Avenue Business Corridor resulted to increased drug usage and crimes.
"Without the benefit of statistics, they are touting increased drug use. They are touting increased crime," said Steve Ackerman, owner of Organic Alternatives and the leader of the group opposing the ban. "These are people who just don't believe in medical marijuana, they think it's a sham."
Ackerman has an approximate 300 licensed patients who commonly purchase marijuana coming from his own stores to fight the pain.
We have a very highly-regulated model that is in effect, claimed Ackerman while pointing to the IRS and FBI background checks to all dispensary employees and owners, the cameras for purchasing monitoring, state taxes and the zoning modifications that relocated the medical marijuana centers in the city in the commercial areas which is quite far from schools and homes.
"There is a great need for this medicine," he said.
Ackerman discovered the essence of medical marijuana after a car accident.