Local Pastor Urged Congregants To Oppose San Leandro’s Proposed Pot Dispensary Ordinance

SAN LEANDRO | Following two hours of testimony from San Leandro residents over a proposed ordinance allowing up to two medical cannabis dispensaries within city limits, council members commented upon the seemingly even number of those in favor and against.

However, a week earlier the pastor for San Leandro’s Heritage Baptist Church urged members of the congregation to “flood” the city’s office with a letter writing campaign against the plan.

“They need a flood there,” said Pastor Alan Fong said during a Sunday sermon Feb. 3 for the need to sign a form letter to be given to city officials in opposition of dispensaries. [AUDIO of the sermon can be heard below.]

At the Feb. 12 informational hearing regarding the city’s proposed ordinance, four council members made note of the large number of letters received from the church. Councilmember Diana Souza, also an opponent of pot clubs in San Leandro even noted 95 percent of the correspondence came from members of Heritage Baptist Church, located on Merced Street.

“We must let the city know there’s a strong voice of strong opposition against medical marijuana dispensaries in the City of San Leandro,” Fong said in the recording.

Councilmember Jim Prola also noted the inordinate number of letters from one group, but cautioned the strength in numbers did not constitute citywide opposition to dispensaries. Over 100 members of the church also attended the well-attended Feb. 12 hearing.

Whether the ordinance, which has no timetable for discussion at the City Council level, is ever passed, its future is in the hands of the Lord, according to a recording of the sermon earlier this month. “We’re not going to win this in the power of the flesh,” preached Fong. “It’s going to be in the power of God.”

69 thoughts on “Local Pastor Urged Congregants To Oppose San Leandro’s Proposed Pot Dispensary Ordinance

  1. I've just read this topics posted comments. My friends and I will vote for Prola if he decides to run. If he doesn't we will vote for Cassidy. We will never vote for Souza because she is too right-wing for San Leandro.

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  2. Anonymous 1:26,
    Our family knows a woman who suffers from fibromyalgia. Her marijuana allows her to reduce her pain so she can do simple things again. Who are you to judge and why are you so against her pain relief? We live in San Leandro as does she, and we all vote.

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  3. It would be best to point you in the direction of the nearest pot dispensary where you could just spark up another doobie and return to dream land until the next election.

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  4. 11:32 and 12:15- folks against mmj aren't childish but your arguments sound childish. You're living in the past. Jim Prola and Ursula Reed were just re-elected in spite of their support of medical marijuana. Cassidy, Gregory and Pauline Cutter will get re-elected too because of their support for mmj. This stay at home mom who suffers from lupus will vote for them. There are many residents who have a legitimate need. You shouldn't try and force us to go to another city. Some of us can't drive very far, or are not close to a bus stop.

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  5. Those need medical marijuana can easily obtain them at Lewelling or from Oakland.

    1147 you are mature, San Leandor folks against marijuana are childish.

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  6. I hope you never have a relative or a sick and dying parent who needs medical marijuana. This is the 21st century not the 19th. Some people abuse prescription drugs, but they are still available even though they do more damage than medical marijuana. Your arguments sound childish.

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  7. Elections are polls. Fact:The people of Calif. voted for medical marijuana and that's why we have it in Calif. Fact:The voters in the Bay Area by huge margins voted for medical marijuana. Check the election results.

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  8. Anon: 11:15,
    You have no poll to back up your statements. All the polls show people want medical marijuana particularly in Alameda County. Do some research will you.

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  9. We “95%' do not want Marjuana in SL, will vote for anyone against Marijuana.

    5% want Marijuana please go to Lewelling or Oakland.

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  10. My family has a relative who needs marijuana for his pain. It helps him more than the prescription drugs he was taking before. We will vote for anyone who runs against Souza.

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  11. The Mayor's race in 2014 will be Cassidy vs. Souza. Gregory may run if Cassidy doesn't. Prola has told people he won't run for Mayor. Most of the people in San Leandro that I know will vote for Cassidy because he supports medical marijuana.

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  12. Vote for Cassidy not Souza in 2014. Most people across the nation, across California, and in the Bay Area support medical marijuana. Times are changing!

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  13. 3014 election certainly will reveal the majority votes on marijuana issue. 90% SL residents are not supporting pot stores in SL,

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  14. I will never vote for Diana Souza again. I will vote for Cassidy, Gregory, Prola, Reed and Cutter again though. Marijuana is a prescription drug for many ,that we should be able to get at a pharmacy which are dispensaries for drugs.

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  15. Recall Diane Souza . This will stop her from running for Mayor in 2014. She has no compassion for the sick and the dying.

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  16. Cassidy, Gregory, Prola, Reed and Cutter were right. Souza and Starosciak were wrong. Nobody knows Lee's position yet. Recall Souza because the majority of people want medical options. Keep Cassidy mayor!

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  17. WASHINGTON — Melvin McDonald, a Mormon Republican who previously served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, describes himself as a “leader in the drug wars in the 1980's.” He served on an advisory board that set national drug policy. He also supports medical marijuana.

    McDonald, a criminal defense attorney who also previously served as Superior Court Judge for Maricopa County, Ariz., had a change of heart on the issue of medical marijuana after his son was hit by a car in 1997 and suffered irreversible brain damage. McDonald said his son, who suffers from seizures, isn't able to keep food down without marijuana.

    “You don't have to be driving a skateboard or riding a skateboard with long hair to be a hippy to realize that there are genuine people that need this, and people that take efforts to block it to people that are sick is just wrong,” McDonald told HuffPost Live on Tuesday. “I've come full-circle, from being on the crime-fighting end to seeing it within my own home, having my wife have to go and obtain marijuana illegally to get to her to keep him alive.”

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  18. Pot shop at end of East Lewelling near East 14th. AC Transit stop with one block walk so no bus problem. Parking spaces in front of shop. Straight drive on East 14th or Lewelling. No need in San Leandro. No conflict with people in San Leandro.

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  19. I don't use pot but I am in favor of the ordinance. I don't think we should force our residents who need pot for pain to go to a different city to get their medication. Some are elderly and can't go far. Have some compassion for the sick and dying. What if it was your sister, brother, mother or father and you weren't around to help them. Most religions teach tolerance.

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  20. Anonymous 11:15,
    You need to read the ordinance. There will be security cameras and security guards who are not armed. The ordinance is on the city homepage and is a very strong ordinance.

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  21. Pastor bring good message and hope to San Leandro. He is example for good character and compassion to all people. Marijuana dispensary wanting supporters show no care for good people and ridicule good man of church. Already have dispensary at end of Lewelling. No brownie is no excuse. Grind and put in your cereal. Are you dumb?

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  22. Prohibition didn't work with alcohol. It created gangs and violence. Pot needs regulation and control just like prescription drugs, alcohol and tobacco. They are all far more harmful than pot.

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  23. If dispensary so safe, prove it by disarming in Oakland first. Get rid all your gun and arm guard. Most bank have no arm guard and Prola say dispensary is safer than bank. Prove it by disarming dispensary now! If no disarm in Oakland, no dispensary in San Leandro.

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  24. Drug gangs are suppliers to the medical marijuana dispensaries, it's about under table money (money laundrying) between the unions, pot growers and owners of the dispensaries.

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  25. 5 members of the City Council voted to not ban it in summer 2012. Mayor Cassidy, Vice Mayor Gregory, and Council persons Cutter, Prola and Reed. Council persons Souza and Starosciak voted to ban. Prola and Reed were re-elected in November 2012 in spite of their vote, and Starosciak was replaced by Councilman Lee who has not said for sure if he favors a ban or not. There will be 4 Council seats up for election in 2014, but don't hold your breath and expect much change. San Leandro has become a heavily Democratic and very progressive town. The Democratic party and the Bay Area is in favor of Medical Marijuana. Get the strongest ordinance you can get and forget the ban.

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  26. 1208, The BZA must be high too! If the dispensaries can't be near schools, senior centers,libraries, parks, etc, news flash families go to commerical areas. Stores, strip malls, shopping centers, restaurants. People of all ages work at or live near industrial areas. If they are making them hire security, you know they are expecting TROUBLE.
    BZA will want to open one in Bayfair Mall. Good bye Target, good bye Macy's.
    RECAll city council and clean house by getting rid of BZA members too! 2 birds 1 stone. No stoners in San Leandro!!

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  27. Pot shops want you to be fooled. They are cash business with untraceable million$ bringing more crime lords under the mask of lawfulness. Recall Prola and anyone who allows them.

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  28. Yay to Pastor Alan Fong for his leading the way. We need more leaders like him who have the courage to stand out and fight our politicians from bringing crime dispensaries into San Leandro.

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  29. 11:24am, you posted “drug dealers will lose all their illegal income.” You also mentioned prohibition and that you “hate marijuana.”
    If we lived in a perfect world, we would not be posting.
    I lost a member of my family because a selfish person choose to drink and drive.
    The pain never goes away, you just try to live with it. I can also assure you that children NEVER get over the loss of a parent. This didn't have to happen, but because one person used poor judgement, 2 people are now dead.
    If this passes we will now have to worry about people driving high and more children will lose parents.
    This is all over the city wanting to raise revenue(MONEY.) No one should have to die becasue the city wants money.

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  30. Remeber Mr & Mrs Potato Head? Now we have Mr & Mrs. Pot Head Prola.
    Are they all idiots? What are they smoking? Wonder what are they getting under the table to push this? Do we now consider them pushers?
    JUST SAY NO TO ALL DRUG PUSHERS AT CITY HALL!!
    NO POT in SAN LEANDRO. NO PUSHERS ON CITY COUNCIL and SCHOOL BOARD!

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  31. Lets turn San Leandro Hospital into a rehab center then sell pot in San Leandro. What are they smoking at city hall?
    We need new leaders. Souza for MAYOR. Get rid of the rest. Lee your walking the line and we are watching you!
    Don't vote for anyone with links to Cassidy or anyone else at city hall.
    Any School Boardmenbers supporting this, it's time for them to go too!
    NO DOPE IN SAN LEANDRO!! Vote both Prolas out. Let stay home and smoke their pot.

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  32. The proposed ordinance contains restrictions on the location and operations of dispensaries. Notable restrictions include limiting the allowable number of dispensaries to two, requiring a Board of Zoning Adjustments conditional use permit approval, locating them only in industrial and commercial zoning districts, and requiring certain security measures including guards. In addition, the dispensaries cannot be within 1,000 feet of a school, library, youth center, park, recreation facility, or another dispensary, or within 500 feet of a residential zone.

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  33. Medical marijuana while legal in California is still illegal on the federal level. Harborside in Oakland, one of the largest medical marijuana dispensaries cannot find banks to accept their deposits for fear of a federal crackdown

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  34. Many nieghbors just find out and surprise both Prola are marijuana supporters…voiced will not vote for either one of them again.

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  35. This is what Crack Heads would say: Open you're eyes. I hate Crack and that's why I want it legalized and regulated. The drug dealers DO NOT WANT IT LEGALIZED. They will lose all their illegal income.

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  36. Ok let's ban alchohal now too…. O wait we tried that.. Didn't work so well. Hmmmm the current state of marijuana use (while being banned) seems to be very similar to the prohibition days… also it was a group of ultra conservative CHRISTIAN women who got prohibition started and it turned out they were wrong, just as these ultra conservatives are. They're hearts are in the right place but they're not seeing the whole picture. Open you're eyes. I hate marijuana and that's why I want it legalized and regulated. The drug dealers DO NOT WANT IT LEGALIZED. They will lose all their illegal income.

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  37. God created pot, Diana Prola will passing out the good stuff marijuana to students and ensure marijuana is available at school health clinic.

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  38. President of school board Diana Prola supporting her husband's idea for pot shops in San Leandro. A San Leandro school boardmember/teacher was arrested for DUI during the Christmas season. He is still serving on the board; Diana Prola publicly prasied him as great role model, drive drunk and drive high. SL parents must know about this twisted Prola couples!

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  39. Free marijuana at the student health center. Come and get your free marijuana. Thank you Prola for doping and dumbing our student education.

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  40. The only problem with the pastor's argument is that the lord created pot. He also created money that corrupts the church. Let's ban that too. There goes your Mercedes padre!

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