Hero & Zero: Big Smiles & No Pot

By Nikki Silverstein

Hero: A whopping 28 percent of Marin’s homeless are young men and women aged 18 to 25. Though they have many needs, the top three services that they request help with are housing, jobs and dental work. The nonprofit group Ambassadors of Hope and Opportunity has assisted with housing and employment for the past 13 years, but there are no dentists on their staff. A team of local dentists came to the rescue last month by launching the Bay Area’s first free, ongoing dental clinic for this underserved population. Housed at SMA Dental in Corte Madera, the clinic has already delivered $40,000 in services at no charge. Big smiles for the generous dentists, Drs. Claudiu Marin, Laleh Sotoodeh, Richard Schmotter and Alex Schmotter, and oral surgeon Alex Kashef, MD, DDS.

Zero: Oy. Enough already with NIMBY Marinites and the Marin County Board of Supervisors that kowtows to them. Last week, the board upheld a decision by the county administrator and denied the appeals of seven vendors who wanted to open medical cannabis dispensaries. We guess they forgot about Proposition 215, passed in 1996, which gives Californians the right to obtain and use pot for medical purposes upon the recommendation of a physician. How do our ill residents do that without a nearby dispensary? Apparently, that medicinal need is secondary to the wishes of Marin homeowners who don’t want dispensaries in their town. The supervisors said they’ll consider alternatives. We certainly hope that consideration takes into account the needs of the sick folks in our community.

Nikki Silverstein
Got a Hero or a Zero? Please send submissions to [email protected] Toss roses, hurl stones with more Heroes and Zeroes at pacificsun.com.
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