TUCSON – Tom Cox is a devout Buddhist but also an innocent bystander in a dispensary debate.
Cox’s East Lester street home is adorned with Buddhist decorations. It’s also the focus of a flyer recently mailed to residents calling Cox’s home a church. Cox considers his home a church and says about six people pray there periodically.
By city ordinance, a church must be “a minimum of one-thousand feet from a medical marijuana dispensary.” A dispensary called “The Prime Leaf” plans to open near Cox’s home.
Pima County tax records list the house as a primary residence. Tucson’s Board of Adjustment voted 6-0 that Cox’s home, which also is an Airbnb, is not a church. This cleared the way for “The Prime Leaf.”
The flyer says, “Buddhism is not a religion in the City of Tucson.” It contains photos of Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, Councilmen Paul Durham and Steve Kozachik.
The new dispensary would be in Durham’s ward. He told the News 4 Tucson Investigators, “The flyer is full of made-up facts.”
Rothschild said, “I’ve learned that it’s more important to work on things that are constructive than to stew about people who are trying to be destructive.”
Kozachik told us, “The people at Downtown Dispensary ought to be ashamed for using religious bigotry as a ruse for a competitor, for stopping a competitor from being able to open. That’s all this was.”
Durham said, “Moe Asnani from “The Downtown Dispensary” is behind it all and he doesn’t want the competition.”
We asked Asnani, “Are you afraid of “Prime Leaf” opening up just a little over a mile from here?” He said, “I have no fear of Prime Leaf.”
After Asnani said he has no fear about the