"There are 44 McDonald's in all of Manhattan -- more than any location in the world -- and we have 37 marijuana dispensaries in San Francisco,'' fumes Dogpatch Neighborhood Association President Susan Eslick, who just learned of plans for a new dope dealership down the street from her, at the corner of Third and 20th streets.
If I were chief censor I'd strike words like fume and outrage from the media.
NB, SF supposedly has over 4000 restaurants. It probably also has that many home and street based marijuana businesses. Why the number of McDonald's or any other number pulled out of a hat should be the relevant comparison to any other is a mystery, perhaps unless you're fumingly newsworthy.
I of course have no opinion about the optimal number or placement of marijana clinics, being content to let the market decide. And I didn't take much note of the argument of the woman quoted, or the article's interesting word choices.
I just found the raw figures interesting, because they could provide people a frame of reference they might otherwise lack.
Many people might not be able to imagine a single legal marijuana dispensary, if their life experience is in less tolerant jurisdictions. Even people in SF might not realize how many are in operation -- because unlike McDonald's, they don't advertise their presence with bright branded signage. (The only legal marijuana dispensaries I've noticed had very discreet, nondescript doorways, and I've probably walked by others without noticing.)
But people worldwide know McDonald's, and have a 'feel' for the density of McDonald's in different neighborhoods. So in one narrow dimension -- number of walk-in outlets -- knowledge of McDonald's outlet density can be used to bootstrap a rough sense of the medical marijuana clinic outlet density in SF.