Police chief provides crime stats on pot clubs 

Police Chief George Gascón provided crime numbers in areas around pot clubs for Police Commission member Petra DeJesus after she waged a very public war with Gascón, calling him “disrespectful” when he asked for more time.

Gascón told DeJesus he was having difficulty finding staff to prepare a report because his top brass had been consumed with issues such as the crime lab and police disciplinary records being provided to the court.

The report, read Wednesday night at the Police Commission, cites serious crimes such as robbery and homicide occurring in the vicinity of medical marijuana dispensaries, along with loitering, littering and double parking. The report also provided numbers of crimes around existing dispensaries in the Mission, Ingleside and South of Market neighborhoods.

Two pot clubs on Ocean Avenue had the lowest amount of crime, with a combined 32 incidents since Jan. 1, 2008. A dispensary at 1597-A Howard St. had 29 crimes in only five months, and a pot club at 1933 Mission St. has hundreds of crimes in a year period, though the categories were expanded for that specific address.

A controversial proposal would place a dispensary on Taraval Street between 31st and 32nd avenues. Supervisor Carmen Chu, whose district includes portions of the Sunset, has come out against the dispensary and police Capt. Denise Schmitt made claims that it would increase crime.

“The issue is for the community to decide,” Schmitt said Wednesday. “There’s a lot of information out there and I don’t think it either proves or disproves an increase in crime.”

Paul Hansbury, who’s trying to open the Bay Area Compassion Health Center at 2139 Taraval St., said the area is underserved and that patients need to go to the Mission, Tenderloin and SoMa to get their prescriptions filled.

“We’re not slinging marijuana at their kids,” he said. “We’re actually holding ourselves to stricter guidelines than we need to.”

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

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Brent Begin

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