Straight Outta Weed: Compton Bans Marijuana Sales
Compton, which has produced weed-loving musical artists from DJ Quik to Dr. Dre, has been called the “birthplace of hip hop and weed culture.” Now its residents are trying to shed that image.
Compton voters defeated two measures that would have allowed recreational and medical marijuana within city limits last month. If you want marijuana in Compton, you’ll have to get it on the city’s always sizable black market.
“Drugs have pillaged black and brown communities," 61-year-old James Hays Jr., told the Los Angeles Times. “It has taken all of our talent away from us. It makes our neighborhoods bad neighborhoods to live in."
“The voters in Compton decided this decision was the healthiest and most forward-looking for our community," explained Councilwoman Emma Sharif. “I don't believe bringing marijuana into the community would've been good for the community.”
After years of sky-high crime rates and government corruption, Compton residents are finally getting a taste of normalcy. Crime is down, there's new leadership, home prices are rising, and big developers are coming to the city. The risk of opening the doors to the nearly all-cash legal cannabis industry is just too high, residents wager. The city also estimates it would have cost $6 million in added enforcement and processing of license requests.
It’s a shame, said Dermot Givens, an attorney who specializes in marijuana licensing. He thinks the city could have made a “fortune” by capitalizing on its history as the birthplace of “the Chronic.”
But money can’t buy everything.