Guest Editorial: Careers Going Up In Smoke?

By The Happy Wanderer

When we last discussed how the City of Tempe and its bureaucrats have attempted to stop a property owner from opening a previously-entitled medical marijuana dispensary in a retail/medical/office complex near the intersection of Warner Road and Priest Drive, we wrote that the city “still had time” to prevent a legal debacle.

It now appears as if the shot clock on that possibility has expired. Late last week, PARC Dispensary’s owner filed a legal complaint alleging that the city has interfered with vested property rights. The complaint follows months of attempts to obtain approvals and the city’s continuous denials of granting him a use acceptance letter.

The city’s worst nightmare is now coming into fruition. Tempe city staffers such as Tempe Principal Planner Steve Abrahamson and Tempe Community Development Deputy Director Ryan Levesque, who have played prominent roles in these denials, as well as Board of Adjustment members and Tempe City Council members are going to have their every action scrutinized under a legal microscope.

As the legal battle kicks off, we have two questions that we’d like all these individuals to answer. Why wait to be deposed to explain your reasonings and justifications for not permitting a medical marijuana dispensary from opening at this location? Why not come out into the open, explain the weird circumstances and dispel the mysteries that are surrounding this nondescript suite in south Tempe? When elected officials get deposed, strange and interesting revelations can take place. We’ll be watching and waiting.

There are few certainties in life. One thing is a foregone conclusion, however: no amount of spin can save you when you’re testifying under oath. Any secrets that have been kept will undoubtedly be spilled. Some careers in Tempe may go up in smoke as city residents and taxpayers wake up and discover that their hard-earned tax dollars are being spent to fight an uphill battle.