The City of El Centro, held an open forum for residents Tuesday night. The city asked residents to bring their opinions and their concerns with them to discuss the possibility of allowing cannabis to be sold in El Centro.
The current marijuana ban is set to expire in June, and the city is considering approving an ordinance for commercial use of cannabis.
Many residents voiced their concerns against Marijuana in El Centro.
“A kid takes a hit of marijuana and that’s the gateway that opens the door for the rest of their life,” said Marty Ellet , El Centro residents. ”
People in recovery also shared their experience with the drug.
” I had to keep feeding it, and I had to keep feeding it. It led me down some paths I shouldn’t have gone, ” said Blaise Cazares , Brawley resident.
Cazares says he started smoking marijuana with his friends when he was 15-years-old. It was an addiction that took him five years to break out of.
He says he has seen first hand how his friends have grown dependent of the drug and fears for the youth of El Centro that may go down that same path.
Some residents present were in favor of the use of marijuana.
” Quit fearing cannabis, it’s coming just like alcohol. It was prohibited, but it came back. It’s gonna come, inevitably. It’s a newer generation. We’re tired of older generations speaking for us, ” said an El Centro resident at Tuesday’s meeting.
” Access is not being denied, you can purchase it in Imperial, you can purchase it in Calexico. You can receive it in mail delivery. It’s not like we’re trying to be somehow uncompassionate towards people who are suffering with illnesses or chronic pain diseases, ” said Chris Nunn , El Centro resident.
Residents also addressed the problems the city is already facing with drug addicted people in the valley.
” Cannabis is not easy for many, that’s something that we saw here. I just want to make sure that we are absorbing everyone’s comments. We’ll digest it and deliberate for the next council, ” Thomas Olivas , El Centro City Council member.
The city ban on commercial marijuana expires on June 30. On Tuesday the city council will be voting to either extend that ban or to adopt an ordinance allowing commercial cannabis use.