On Tuesday, June 29, the County Board of Supervisors approved a budget for the Fiscal Year 2021-2021, which started July 1. As part of the approved budget, Supervisor Anderson, who represents cities and communities in San Diego’s East County, garnered support from his Board colleagues to allocate additional funds towards shutting down illegal cannabis dispensaries, or “pot shops”.
Anderson’s plan includes spending $2.8 million in the next two years to add resources to the Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney to enforce the law and prosecute these illegal pot shops. This is in addition to the $500,000 Anderson helped secure at an earlier board meeting. With these allocated funds, four new deputies, one sergeant, and one crime analyst positions will be funded.
Up to now, closed illegal shops would quickly re-open in new locations. “Unfortunately, it’s been like a ‘whack a mole’ game,” said Anderson, who noted that many of these illegal pot shops are near schools or churches and are run by gangs and organized crime. Anderson hopes that, with this newly approved budget, law enforcement will have the resources they need to crack down on these illegal pot shops.
“I want to praise my colleagues in understanding that before considering licensing any new legal pot shops, we must ensure illegal shops are shut down for good,” said Anderson. Later this summer, Anderson plans to bring forward an ordinance that would implement stricter guidelines for enforcement.
Also included in the County’s $7.23 billion budget are funds to address issues such as homelessness, economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and more. Anderson shared, “For unincorporated residents, the County is their only government. I represent the largest number of unincorporated residents, who live or die by what the Board says or does.”
Anderson added, “I am thankful to the Chief Administrative Officer, Helen N. Robbins-Meyer, and my Board of Supervisors colleagues for supporting a budget that ensures the people in my district are well-represented.”
Photo via Behind The Badge OC