A proposed marijuana dispensary in San Francisco, co-owned by former Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, has come under attack by neighbors who fear the shop will create stoned drivers and increase crime in the area.
But Quan and her colleagues say those concerns are unfounded.
The dispensary would be located in a building at 32nd Avenue and Noriega in the city's Sunset district. A group of neighbors opposing the dispensary rallied outside the building Monday night. Last week, the angry group wouldn't let supporters talk at a meeting at the Taraval police station.
Quan's husband, Dr. Floyd Huen, was at the Apothecarium dispensary on Market Street to talk about the proposed new dispensary.
"We already have 3,000 of the patients who come here, live out there," he said. "That's a starting point. They should be getting one in the neighborhood."
Huen points out that about 60 percent of Sunset district residents voted in favor of Proposition 64 in November, which legalized marijuana in California.
"Community education about the usefulness of this product and the fact that it doesn't make you high when you use it," Huen said. "It's nonaddictive, it's safe and nobody's ever died from this."
Still, on Monday night, people who live near the proposed site spoke up again.
"He is not really that well intentioned to educate us; they are just profit making people," resident Ena Kwok said. "But with the marijuana, there is a higher possibility of more crime with car accidents, and this is a peaceful community."
Resident Billy Thach agreed.
"They are just making money," he said. "They are using somebody's misery, somebody's cancer, a condition, to make a case. How can they stoop so low?"
San Francisco Supervisor Katy Tang represents the district and said she has never seen a neighborhood so united on an issue. Fears expressed to her include the dispensary's proximity to child care and after-school programs. And crime.
"The data in Oakland over 15 years, in Colorado and Washington, shows that when you open facilities like this, illicit usage of it goes down, not up, and crime goes down, not up."
The fate of the dispensary now rests with the city's planning department. It could end up in front of the Board of Supervisors. But anti-dispensary forces are confident because they have stopped a couple previous attempts for dispensaries in the Sunset district.