Pubdate: Wed, 17 Jul 2013
Source: Nelson Star (CN BC)
Copyright: 2013 Black Press
Authors: Ken & Louise Sutherland


Re: Letter to the editor "A bad location for a grow-op (Nelson Star, 
Wednesday, July 10, 2013).

As neighbours, family members and owners of the North Shore Water
Utility, and being mentioned specifically in the paper, we felt that
we could remain quiet no longer.

These properties have supported our entrepreneurial family and
community for more than 50 years with a multitude of commercial and
industrial businesses, ranging from a gravel pit (20 jobs), to
concrete plant (10 plus jobs) to the last business of landscaping (10
jobs). A potential medicinal marijuana grow operation would provide 10
plus year around jobs. The properties are over 35 acres, sloped,
bordered at the top with crown land, not as one letter writer stated:
"surrounded by homes." In fact, the closest home to current buildings
and proposed building site is over 100 feet away and over 50 vertical
feet up the hill with forest between, enough space for the old
concrete plant in fact.

Security was another concern of mine, until I read the Marijuana for
Medicial Purposes Regulations. Even my own research shows that
medicinal marijuana grow operations in America that are under strict
government rules, (like the Marijuana for Medicial Purposes
Regulations) actually reduce crime in those areas because of the
extensive security, not barbwire and electric fencing, but technology
like motion sensor cameras and 24-hour monitoring. Unlike the old
regulations, medical marijuana under the new regulations will be grown
indoors only, under strict rules to protect neighbours and patients
alike. No smells are allowed to leave the building and new production
licences can be revoked. Pre-licence inspections for security, exhaust
air quality, and electrical, among other things are mandatory.

When those concerned "chose to live in this neighbourhood" there was a
busy landscaping/nursery business running in the very spot she wants
to deny a quiet marijuana grow operation.

There is a 2013 petition with 92 per cent support from all the
neighbours down either side of the access to the highway - these are
the neighbours that would be impacted with major traffic improvements,
unlike the letter writer who has had and will get zero traffic and
wouldn't even be able to see the building from their home. The North
Shore couple would not even cut down a single tree making their
existing building bigger.

The couple have also given up most of the rights that AG4 zoning would
give them including stables, kennels and farm animals to protect us
from unlikely future owners, and have addressed every issue brought

Marijuana has defined the "spirit of the Kootenays" for decades. Now
that it's finally regulated properly, we need to embrace it and the
jobs and tax revenue. We've read the new regulations. Are we governed
by fear or facts? We'll see on the 18th.

Ken & Louise Sutherland

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