EDITOR: Yes, we voted to legalize cannabis it so it could be controlled, monitored and taxed. No, we didn’t expect that it would be grown right in our neighborhoods.
We thought land would be too expensive, labor too tight. Call us NIMBYs if you want. We moved to this county because we loved its sense of place. We volunteer, donate, pay our taxes and garden responsibly to make this a good place to live.
The wine “lifestyle” has already had a miserable impact on traffic, water supplies, wildlife and pollinators due to monoculture, fencing, netting, spraying and housing demand. Now cannabis growers are fighting for space.
We know exactly how this will play out if there aren’t upfront restrictions. We know the county needs lots more tax revenue to cover the pension shortfall shell game and the housing crisis. And the supervisors love campaign donations and nice invitations.
But we little people want the county to do the right thing. Before opening the floodgates to this new incursion, limit the number of growing/event permits and insist on higher environmental standards, including planting meaningful native hedgerows; providing wildlife corridors by limiting fencing, noise and odor monitoring; banning pesticides and herbicides; and, of course, using water conservatively.