Sunset Beacon

‘Reefer Madness’ Breaks Out at POPS’ Meeting

By Thomas Pendergast

The People of Parkside Sunset

(POPS) tried to start a regular

meeting at the Taraval Police

Station Thursday night, but the

organizers of the meeting and a

guest speaker were shouted down

by neighbors opposed to a proposed

medical cannabis dispensary

(MCD).

Representatives of the

Apothocarium, which currently

runs an MCD in the Castro

District and will be opening another

in the Marina District,

wants to open an MCD at the intersection

of Noriega Street and

32nd Avenue. They were supposed

to give a presentation of

the business model they are considering

but they never got that

far because a packed room of locals

took over the meeting and

shut it down.

“We all have a history with

another MCD that tried to open

up on Taraval Street a couple of

years ago,” said POPS Vice

President, Dallas Udovch. “This

is a different company. It’s not

the same people. … I would like

you to at least hear what he has

to say, give it a fair consideration

and then we can make up our

minds as a community afterwards,

but I do not want a shouting

match here tonight.”

And that was about as much

fair consideration there was for

the rest of the meeting, because a

shouting match quickly ensued.

“If it’s announcements, we

have the right to protest. If it’s

announcements we don’t have to

listen to the announcements!”

said one man wearing glasses

and standing directly across the

room, raising his voice as he

went.

“This is our own community

meeting here,” Udovch responded.

“They’ve kindly asked to do

a presentation. They just want to

show you what they want to present

to the neighborhood. It’s like

any other business. Now, if

you’re against it, that’s fine. This

is not going to be a forum for

shouting. We’re going to be civilized.

We’re going to give their

group a chance to make a presentation.”

“Excuse me sir,” said a woman

nearby. “Do we have the right

to say something that they can

hear from us, whether the community

welcomes them in the

community?”

“Of course,” Udovch said.

“That’s a good point,” said another

man standing near the door.

Most of the crowd broke into

applause at that point.

But the man wearing glasses

started yelling at the top of his

voice.

“Get them out! Get them out!

Get them out!,” he said. “We

don’t have to hear them!”

Then someone asked who was

the person in the crowd there on

behalf of the proposed MCD,

wanting Udovch to point them

out, but he did not respond.

“Don’t give them a chance!

Not even a chance!” the man

with the glasses screamed, as an

uproar and yelling swelled

throughout the room, verging on

pandemonium.

Then they started chanting at

the MCD representative, “Shame

on you! Shame on you! Shame

on you! Shame on you!”

The protestors were asked to

show some respect for the people

who had come to give the presentation.

But the response was negative,

and quickly became heated.

“To invaders we don’t have to

show any respect!” shouted the

man with the glasses. “To enemy

invaders we don’t have to show

any respect, OK?”

“Everyone has a fair voice

here! And you are out of order

here!” Udovch shouted back at

him.

“For invaders there’s no respect.

For invaders, there’s no

fair chance!” the man with the

glasses said emphatically. “This

is our community! They don’t

belong here!”

The yelling and shouting in

the crowd began to drown out

Udovch as he tried to bring some

order to the meeting, but he managed

to calm things down for a

few minutes.

He then tried to have one of

the Apothocarium reps speak, but

the man got only a few sentences

out when he was called “evil”

and told to “make it short.”

The man began talking about

his mother dying because she

took some medicine, but a woman

in the crowd yelled out, “who

cares,” and another man said

“she’ll die anyway.”

That was about as far as the

guest speaker got.

“Can we stop the nonsense

here?” said the man with the

glasses. The he started hysterically

“Get him out! You are

garbage! He’s lying! You’re lying!

You are invaders in our

community! Take him out! Stop

him! “

Eventually, Udovch had to

shut down the monthly meeting,

without tackling other important

business.

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