Pubdate: Fri, 13 Nov 2015
Source: Ukiah Daily Journal, The (CA)
Copyright: 2015 The Ukiah Daily Journal
Author: Swami Chaitanya


To the Editor:

The editorial on cannabis from October 18 is old thinking. The 
medical benefits of cannabis are well documented. We are not the 
enemy. We are your neighbors. We are your customers and we care about 
the future of Mendocino county as much as anyone. This is a new era 
in the cannabis world and the tired old attitude of nuisance and 
punishment no longer serves the county.

We now have an opportunity to work together for the future to make 
sure Mendocino county continues to prosper. The growers of Mendocino 
have been the economic backbone of the county since the demise of the 
lumber industry. The Willits News estimated that cannabis sustained 
one third of the county economy, to the tune of $650 million dollars. 
Wine grapes bring only $100 million dollars. The Sheriff's estimate 
to a federal grand jury in 2010 of five million plants would indicate 
marijuana brings in revenue of many millions of dollars.

Mendocino is internationally recognized as one of the world's premier 
cannabis producing regions. Marijuana is the county's most valuable 
crop and greatest job creator. This is a result of forty years of 
genetic experiments, developing cultivation techniques, and sheer hard work.

All we are asking is to be treated like every other farmer with fair 
regulation and equable taxation, and not to be treated as a nuisance 
subject to summary eradication.

A sure way to cripple the economy of the county would be enact 
punitive taxes and unrealistic plant limits which would motivate the 
growers to sell their land and move to a county which knows the value 
of the cannabis crop and encourages its cultivation.

The Journal's suggestion that retired Seniors on fixed incomes will 
move here in droves once property values go down seems shortsighted 
to say the least. Will they replace the millions that cannabis 
production brings to the county? Or are mega developers waiting in 
the wings to scoop up the vacated properties? Where will the water 
come from? Where will the sewage go??

The future looks bright if we can come together as a community to 
create sensible, fair and equable regulations, permit fees, and 
taxation for cannabis cultivation, manufacture and sale.

Let's work together to promote responsible farming practices and to 
realize the contribution that cannabis has made to the county for 
over forty years.

- - Swami Chaitanya, Laytonville

Editor's note: Nowhere in our Oct. 18 editorial do we even mention 
retirees or say that "...retired Seniors on fixed incomes will move 
here in droves once property values go down." The editorial had one 
point: that local citizens need to get involved and make sure that 
the future of the marijuana industry in our county is not decided 
solely by the growers.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom