Despite sketchy clientele, large cash transactions, and heavily-armed security, pot stores are now the safest spaces in America, while university campuses are among the most dangerous.
We showed the Sacramento neighborhood safety report to one pot store owner named Dale. “Wow, man,” he said, neatly stacking another bundle of hundred dollar bills into his enormous floor safe. “It’s a good thing I didn’t go to college. One in five of my people don’t get raped.”
As pot stores spread across the country, the news bodes well for colleges that have alleged “safe spaces” for every group imaginable. The Los Angeles Times notes that such spaces were originally created for groups to “discuss problems they shared in a forum where they were sheltered from epithets and other attacks.” Unfortunately, they quickly turned into places where students could “quarantine” themselves and “create de facto cultural segregation.”
Dope could come to the rescue. Beginning in April 2017, the Sacramento City Council approved industrial permits for commercial cannabis farming inside city limits. More than 70 applications were submitted in the first two days, and California State University Sacramento was one of the first organizations to be approved. The administration is excited about getting started.
Having pot farms on campus could improve campus safety issues almost overnight, as students embrace the laidback and inclusive culture of stoners. Government officials from law enforcement to mental health predict a dramatic decrease in anxiety as the new culture takes hold.
Step one is to rezone the campus as “light industrial” to meet city requirements, but officials say step two is even more important: hiring enough people to operate the grow. Here again, the city has stepped up, passing regulations mandating that 50 percent of marijuana farm employees be people who were either jailed for marijuana convictions in the city or had lived for 10 years or more in parts of the city with disproportionate marijuana arrests.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg made his support clear during a recent council meeting. “Who has an opportunity to go into this business?” Steinberg asked. “Are we going to have a goal and a time table? Our answer has to be yes.”
CSU Sacramento is answering the call. Once the grows get started, the administration expects the entire campus to be just as safe as any pot store.