Petitioners supporting marijuana dispensaries in Solana Beach accused of misleading voters

Posted at 6:47 AM, Sep 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-11 11:25:50-04

SOLANA BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) - Some Solana Beach residents say they were misled into signing a petition that would allow marijuana dispensaries in their community.

A handful of signature gatherers have been set up outside area businesses, and Solana Beach resident Jason Barry said he was rushing into the grocery store with his young children when he was approached by a petitioner.

"She was very quick to engage us, flag us down. The signage helped draw us in, again showing there was an urgency and she pointed right away to the fact that if you care about your kids this is something that is beneficial for them and to me; it feels like it's quite the opposite," said Barry.

The sign read, "Prohibit Building Marijuana Dispensaries within 600 feet of our public schools."

"I had some confusion myself as to whether or not, what the current law was. I had believed at one point that it was banned altogether," said Barry.

Solana Beach already has a ban on marijuana dispensaries in place. The petition is designed to try to overturn that ban by putting the issue on the ballot.

"They seem to be pretty savvy, about walking a certain line that they don't say something overtly, but again, I was completely bowled over finding out that this was the opposite of what my intentions were," said Barry, who is against dispensaries in his community.

"Some people have a need for it and there's a place for it, but if you do it under dubious circumstances people will be against it altogether," said Barry.

A long thread of residents complained about what they also considered dirty tactics on the app NextDoor.

On Monday night, signature gatherers were set up outside Vons and Sprouts stores, but their signs were different and were not misleading. One of the women said she's paid $8 per signature.

Residents who want their name removed from that petition should contact the city clerk's office.

Click here to view the “Notice of Intent to Circulate Petition"