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Is saying ‘no’ to storefront pot sales worth it?
Manteca exploring making retail marijuana sales legal in city
pot file

After years of taking a hardline, “absolutely not” approach to cannabis, the Manteca City Council finally did something that makes sense.

They agreed to study the matter further to see whether having dispensaries is something that the city should consider.

It’s a long way from actually approving one, but considering the lengths the city has gone to in the past to prevent businesses like this from opening – going to court to get an injunction against one that opened downtown for several days before being shut down – it was definitely a step in the right direction.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not advocating for people to use marijuana. Surely ingesting anything that alters your mind or your mood, particularly if it requires smoking a substance to do so, isn’t good for you. Cannabis may not be as toxic or as dangerous as substances like alcohol, according to some reports that have come out in recent years, but it’s not exactly a healthy habit to have, either.

But at this point, with most California citizens voting to legalize the recreational use of cannabis – and the majority of Manteca voters backing the ballot initiative – it only makes sense that the city respect the wishes of its residents.

Earlier this month the subject came up at a meeting of the Manteca City Council when Jim Todd – the Christian pastor that has worked for years as a coach and has tirelessly welcomed hundreds of people to an annual Thanksgiving football game that has become a tradition – spoke out vehemently against the council even looking into such a matter.

While I understand Todd’s objections – having dispensaries dotting the main thoroughfares is not consistent with the family-friendly look that the council is trying to achieve – I also think that it minimizes the impact that liquor stores have on communities as well, especially when it comes to the destructive nature of substance abuse.

The argument that marijuana is not addictive doesn’t necessarily hold water any more thanks to advances in technology that have concentrated the psychoactive components of the substance to almost scary levels, and people can become psychologically dependent on any substance that their body doesn’t manufacture on its own.

How many of us need that cup of coffee to wake us up in the morning? How many of us don’t function nearly as efficiently unless we’ve gulped down our first steaming cup of caffeinated goodness?

With that said, alcohol is still one of the only substances in the world where sudden withdrawal from it can actually kill you. That’s not hyperbole – an alcoholic that stops drinking suddenly can die if their body doesn’t have the substance they crave (the only other commonly abused class of drugs that can kill you if you suddenly stop ingesting it are benzodiazepines, and while prescription drug abuse is rampant, you can’t buy them at any corner store).

If we’re perfectly okay with alcohol being sold in the city, I don’t see a reason why a marijuana dispensary can’t be entertained.

Furthermore, for a city that’s looking to find the money necessary to do things like hire police officers and buy fire engines, leaving the money on the table that a cannabis tax can provide doesn’t seem very prudent – especially since it doesn’t tax the people who choose not to partake. It won’t solve all the city’s budgetary woes, but it certainly won’t hurt.

Mayor Ben Cantu said that he brought the matter up for discussion because while campaigning he heard countless requests from residents to revisit the issue.

It’s time that the will of the people be done instead of the will of the vocal minority.


Pigskin Pickin’ Farewell

Well, we’re done.

As much as Chris Teicheira wants for us to continue this while we still have at least one high school left in the race, it’s time for the 2019 Pigskin Pickers to wrap things up.

And based on how things turned out, it’s obvious why he wants another week – Teicheira went from holding the early lead to dead last in just a matter of months.

It’s like I have a whole lot of room to poke fun here – Eric Wohle ran away from the championship this year, and after two consecutive years of wearing the crown, I let the smack talk flow liberally and was served a heaping helping of humble pie as a result.

But while this has been an opportunity for us to have a few laughs and talk a little bit about football, it has also taken place against the backdrop of one of the most memorable local football seasons in recent memory.

We had three teams in our coverage area play for the opportunity to play in a State Championship game.

One of them made it through and will compete on Saturday for the first time in the school’s history.

The Valley Oak League had three teams make it to a Section final, and two of them won. The Trans Valley League also had three teams make it to a Section final, and two of them one – both of whom are going to be competing for State Championships this weekend.

This tells us, almost mathematically, that the TVL is the best small school league in the entire State of California while we could make the case that the VOL is the best mid-sized league in California as well.

After years of places like Sacramento getting all the recognition in the Section, the Northern San Joaquin Valley has finally proven that they’re here to play and it’s not a fluke.

Just looking at Manteca High School’s pairing in their Nor Cal matchup proves that – going up against a team that hasn’t surrendered a single point in its regular season league in years. While there are plenty of people who are unhappy with the fact that Manteca had to play a powerhouse like McClymonds, I think the pairing speaks to the school’s success in recent years and the CIF’s drive for competitive equity.

So, without further ado, here’s the final standings:

*Wohle (50-19) – He still wants his linguica.

*Campbell (43-21) – Not the finish I was hoping for, but at this point I will take seven games back after some of the abysmal weeks I had.

*Condit (41-23) – The mighty have fallen this season.

*Teicheira (38-26) – I can’t talk smack about his finish but considering his start the descent is impressive in its own right.

Until next year!

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.