LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Residents in Compton are urging U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to stop for-profit marijuana businesses in their communities.
Elected officials, community groups and residents held a news conference on Monday to express concerns about profitable marijuana dispensaries. The coalition opposed to marijuana legalization presented a citizen petition to stop the commercialization of marijuana and are calling for federal officials to take action.
Local residents expressed that the increase in the number of marijuana businesses in the area have led to a rise in gang activity and drug-related crime, including marijuana-related shootings. Additionally, marijuana dispensaries continue to open near schools, including one dispensary that is 250 yards from an elementary and middle school.
“Pot shops are coming into Compton to fund the drug habit of teens from Beverly Hills,” said Kevin Sabet, President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana. “Underserved communities have already suffered for too long from over-incarceration, health disparities, and crime. Today, they’re being victimized yet again by the emergence of an industry on course to become the next Big Tobacco industry of our time. We are proud to stand with these residents to stand up against special interest groups and fight for smarter approaches to marijuana in Compton and across the nation.”
The group released a petition calling on Sessions to enforce federal drug laws in the city.