Monday, July 17, 2006
The proposal would require all tobacco retailers in San Diego to pay $100 a year for a special police permit. Supporters say the money would go for increased enforcement to make sure merchants don't sell cigarettes to minors.
Dr. Cleo Malone directs The Palavra Tree, a social service agency in Southeast San Diego. He says too many retailers are breaking the law.
Malone: In the last week we went to 27 merchants with one of our youth, and 21 of them sold tobacco products to a 16-year-old.
But merchants complain it's not fair to punish all retailers for the mistakes of a few.
A number of California cities require stores to have tobacco licenses, including El Cajon and Vista. Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.