Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens Near California School

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

School officials in Southern California want to shut down a medical marijuana dispensary that opened just steps from a school for at-risk students.

The Orange County Register reports that the dispensary opened in a strip mall about six weeks ago. However, an adjacent strip mall a hundred feet away is home to what is called a "continuation" high school for at-risk kids, many of whom have had drug and alcohol problems.

State law says marijuana dispensaries cannot be located within 600 feet of a school. While officials admit a strip mall is an odd place for a school, it doesn't change the fact that the dispensary is in violation of the law.

"There are plenty of places that they could put a dispensary, but it doesn't belong right here next to a school," said Principal Devin Lawson.

Lawson said students are aware of what is being sold at the store and "it has muddied the discussion about drug use when you have a place that close selling a drug that we are trying to keep our students away from."

The windows of the dispensary are tinted so no one can see inside and the door is locked -- a person has to ring the bell for service.

Anaheim officials say they are looking into the situation.

In the meantime, students are being told to avoid the shop.

"We have the responsibility to care for students during the day when they aren't with their parents," Lawson said. "At some point, we need to decide what is and isn't appropriate for students. They are still children, and this is not appropriate so close to a school."