From the field: Mary lives in Hopkins district. Mary lives in fear. Mary is not her real name.
Mary Smith lives in Linda Hopkins’ district in Sonoma County. We can’t be any more specific. Mary is not her real name, she would never approve of publishing her story. She only communicates by phone out of fear of being traced online by pot growers. She lives her life in constant trepidation and has had panic attacks.
Mary and her elderly husband Steve share a driveway easement with pot growers, so they have to drive through the pot farms to get in or out of their home. The Ag department allows up to 4 independent growers to operate on a single parcel. Each grower has to be separate, so all the traffic, lighting and other impacts are multiplied 4 times. Sometimes there are 30-40 cars and trucks parked at the sites and using the narrow drive. They have blocked the road on numerous occasions and have threatened and intimidated the Smiths. Both growers have constructed gates with codes to pass through but neglect to inform them when the code is changed. Steve, who is hard of hearing, has been attacked by the grower’s vicious dogs. The growers use exterior lighting that lights up the night sky in violation of code but the County does nothing.
The Smiths are isolated on a remote street behind multiple gates that aren’t theirs and don’t always open and no neighbors to help. Their area has become an inclusion zone for cannabis, where residents are selling and getting out and growers are taking over. A local grange hall has been taken over by pot growers and converted to a cannabis lobbying organization, advocating, successfully, for weaker rules against their operations.
Mary and Steve are trying to sell their home to a grower. Its their only hope of escape from the insane horror show supplanting the pastural secluded bliss they once enjoyed in rural Sonoma County, BC. (Before cannabis)
Why have Marin and Napa Counties not allowed cannabis cultivation?