A Chula Vista City Councilman said he wants to declare a local state of emergency against the numerous illegal pot shops the city is struggling to close. Councilman Mike Diaz said there are more illegal marijuana dispensaries in his District 4 than there are Starbucks or 7/11s.
The picture above shows the existing eight illegal marijuana dispensaries in the district and all the 7/11s and Starbucks.
“If you see a dispensary in the City of Chula Vista today, it’s illegal,” said Councilman Diaz.
California voters approved the right to use marijuana but the City of Chula Vista banned the sale of marijuana years ago.
However, as of Thursday, the City of Chula Vista was aware of 14 illegal pot shops operating within city limits. Diaz said 8 are in his district.
“As we come up with new ways to evict these folks they come up with other ways to keep their businesses running,” he said. “The problem here is there’s so much money in the marijuana business, the cannabis business that they have the top attorneys. Our City Attorney fights these cases as a civil matter. We need to change that and make it a criminal matter.”
Diaz wants the City Council to find the money to hire City Attorney Glen Googins a criminal prosecutor and staff.
“Provide him the power to prosecute those folks that are breaking the law and do it in a criminal way,” said Diaz, who acknowledged there is a petition circulating around the city to legalize the sale of marijuana. It’s still illegal in the meantime.
“This is a public safety issue and I think it’s a priority.”