Statement to Berkeley Parks and Waterfront Commission March 13 2019
We all know the term abuse, as in drug abuse and child abuse. We need to add to our vocabulary the term “park abuse.”
The proposed cannabis events would break up families. People under 18 can’t lawfully participate. Do we want a park that breaks up families, or a park that brings families together?
At last night’s city council meeting, it appeared that some members were backing off from allowing smoking in the park. However, nothing was decided. I respectfully ask this commission to go on record with a unanimous vote, if possible, upholding the no-smoking rule in the parks. No exception for marijuana.
At the event, many people will arrive sober and leave stoned. Many will be behind the wheel of a car. They will do the stupid, careless, and dangerous things that stoned drivers do. Do we want a park that is an engine of harm to the surrounding communities?
If the event proceeds, Parks staff will be on record as promoting marijuana. The message will be: Scott Ferris is OK if you use marijuana. Sue Ferrera wants you to use marijuana. Roger Miller wants you to use marijuana. Alexa Endress wants you to use marijuana. Is that the kind of record you want to make for your kids and grandkids?
Marijuana, both in its edible and in its smokable form, is poison to dogs. It kills them. Do you want to host an event where dogs will die?
The stoner public that comes to marijuana events is notoriously piggish. Turn on, drop trash, tune out. Is that what you want in our parks?
The bottom line is that the proposed cannabis events constitute park abuse. You are park stewards. Do your job.
— Martin Nicolaus