Oh, this is rich. Technically, I could move to Sun City, the nation's first "active adult retirement community," where you have to be at least 55 to live. They opened the Del Webb creation on January 1, 1960. More than 100,000 people showed up that weekend to see the novel idea in mass-produced living, and by Sunday several hundred people had plunked down enough cash to buy a home. Today, about 65,000 people live in Sun City and its umbilical neighbor Sun City West.
I have friends there -- some mighty fine Dems who ended up in Sun City; but if I ever talk about moving there, just put a bullet in my head. If you've been there, you probably know what I mean. The colorful brochures and TV ads show lots of smiley happy people playing shuffleboard and dancing, but the reality is the Safeway in Sun City has the highest alcohol sales in the state -- lots of sad people drinking behind closed curtains. And don't even get me going on the design of the place; the maze-like curvilinear streets make it impossible to find your way in or out. Or you're apt to run over some old pasty people in golf carts on their way to the 4PM dinner at Furr's.
Now it seems they may have another destination to drive to:
The operators of White Mountain Health Center Inc. want to set up shop in Sun City at 15249 N. 99th Ave., Suite B and have filed suit against Maricopa County -- which is seeking to block such operations from opening -- alleging the county is stalling its application. Daily News-SunWhite Mountain runs medical marijuana dispensaries, and while the law is still somewhat up in the air here (and everywhere that sanctions medical pot), dispensaries are opening and operating. Some Sun City residents are none too happy with White Mountain's application, believing a weed store will attract drug addicts, criminals, and other unsavory misfits to their quiet neighborhood. Evidently they've seen Reefer Madness too many times.
Security was the biggest source of concern for neighborhood residents, like Ed Sullivan, who said he rarely does more than drive by the southwest corner where the proposed dispensary could locate, but his concern is more about the type of people who could drift in his direction.Mr. Sullivan and others need not fret about "the type of people" who'll show up at a dispensary. I know some of them: vets with PTSD, seniors suffering from cancer, eye problems, or debilitating back pain. The Arizona Department of Health Services has been accepting applications for a medical marijuana card for over a year now, and currently more than 30,000 have been approved. Of that total, nearly 10,000, about a third, were provided to patients old enough to live in Sun City. Almost 3,000 patients, in fact, live in Sun City or the immediate vicinity. Why residents there want to deny pain-killing medication to anyone is as mind-numbing as the GOP falling all over itself today to "repeal Obamacare," and thereby deny tens of millions of people life-saving health coverage.
Pat Shaughnessy, a former pastor, said his problem with medical marijuana is more about moral issues than safety.Right, it sure wouldn't be "moral" to help sick people with one of nature's weeds. It's much more ethical to force ailing patients to see expensive doctors so they can buy pills that cost more, prop up the pharmaceutical industry, often don't work, have serious effects, and may be addictive.
According to a quick Google search, Sun City has more than 70 gun shops. That seems to be just hunky dory with residents, especially in a state where there's no legal limit to the number of AK-47's anyone over 18 can buy in a day -- and then sell in the parking lot. But to open one shop that distributes a plant to sick people sets their grey hair on fire. Ease up, the worst that'll happen is that some patients won't find their way outta your labyrinthian avenues.