The In-Box: Letters to the Times


Re: Plans for medical marijuana dispensary on Lombard St. (October 2011): This might sound like NIMBY talk because I live three blocks from the proposed dispensary, but I have some general concerns over the logistical location of this new proposed dispensary.

One concern is that most Marin dispensaries have been closed, and the closeness of the location to the North Bay could increase the 150 patients expected per day by another few hundred because North Bay residents would not bypass the Lombard dispensary for one in the Tenderloin or South of Market.

The other issue that could create higher patient traffic will be San Francisco patients preferring the safety and location of a Lombard dispensary to the Tenderloin or South of Market. It has been shown at Harborside in Oakland that patients will flock to the nicest facility – I believe they have over
100,000 patients.

In addition, there will be the intrinsic problem of growers and collective members meeting and transferring large amounts of marijuana product and money in the neighborhood. This will increase the likelihood of criminal activity surrounding the dispensary. For example, 250 people buying an ounce apiece equals something on the order of $60,000 in revenue per day. When you consider that a typical retail store may make a few thousand per day, you can see the dramatic comparison in money and drugs changing hands in our residential neighborhood. At that point, it feels more like a high grossing business than a medical collective.

And, last, the likelihood of a gun-wielding federal raid and seizure is almost assured given the location and demographic.

I have nothing against the legal use of cannabis as a helpful drug, but I think the geographic circumstances surrounding this particular dispensary could end up creating more issues than we already face in the neighborhood with parking, traffic congestion and crime.

Norman Cheney, the Marina

Dear Editor: Your article “Plans for medical marijuana dispensary on Lombard St.” inappropriately includes a photo of the Vapor Room Cooperative’s (VRC) signage at its previous location in Lower Haight. The caption states that the VRC closed under pressure from the DEA, yet the article fails to mention that fact, why it was forced to close, or the VRC at all.

The article’s failure to mention the U.S. Attorney’s recent medical cannabis dispensary (MCD) closure activity in S.F. based on proximity to parks, playgrounds and other youth uses within 1,000 feet of MCDs (as occurred with the Vapor Room) at best leads to reader confusion and at worse implies that the Vapor Room was closed because it broke the rules or is somehow associated with the entity proposing a MCD
on Lombard.

Martin Olive, executive director, Vapor Room Cooperative of San Francisco

Editor’s Note: We apologize to our readers if any such confusion occurred.


Dear Mr. Zipperer: As a native San Franciscan (born and raised), I can tell you why we don’t honk [“Zippy: Big Honking Deal,” September 2012]:

  1. Natives are laid back and only honk if someone is about to hit them (as in backing into them). We think honkers should chill out. Those drivers won’t change, so don’t bother honking at them. (If someone is a honker, they’re most likely
    a transplant.)
  2. I’ve heard too many stories over the years of crazy people that get honked at. They pull over and confront you, threaten you, or worse, cause harm. One scary incident happened to a friend: He honked at a car on the freeway that was speeding in and out and cut in front of him. The car pulled over to the other lane, slowed down, and pointed a gun at him!

It may not be a good thing to you, to not honk, but that’s just the way of native San Franciscans. We’re very tolerant of everything and everyone, and don’t like to make a big deal of things.

Karen Manning, San Francisco


Dear Editor: What’s up with all these crows? Birdsong in the Marina’s lovely gardens is being replaced by cawing and ominous flapping. A local birdwatcher says this growing flock of crows depends on scraps scavenged from accessible garbage cans – in recreation areas, and outside homes and restaurants. Let’s make sure the bins we put outside are securely closed and ask food managers to do the same.

Patricia Cady, the Marina


The latest Marina Times caps off what’s been a continuous ascension in quality. It’s informative, entertaining and handsome. Perhaps most important is what the Marina Times brings to our community: giving it a voice deserving to be heard; personifying its youthful, sprightly spirit; and keeping us informed and appreciative of what is going on and available to us in our very special neighborhood.

If there is still a national competition and award for news periodicals, you absolutely can enter it and walk away with the trophy! The Marina Times is splendid, your writing and your writers are absolutely professional, and your choice of content is excellent. You guys are on a roll!

Fred Gehrung, the Marina

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