Marijuana is in keeping with our ag heritage
By Tom Huerkamp
Published Thursday, March 9, 2017 8:42 am
I have two, no three reactions, to the article "Timeline details marijuana votes and regulations" by Matt Soper (DCI, March 1). First the majority of the article is correct as it relates to the timeline of events and what occurred. However you then allowed Matt to end with two lengthy paragraphs that were his editorial version of the issue. You let what appears to be a factual report become Matt's platform for his personal opposition to the actual issue.
There were no Denver marijuana people speaking in favor at that well-attended work session. The only person who represented themselves as being in the marijuana industry was born, raised and lives in our wonderful Delta County. At a previous work session the only thing discussed with the trustees was a licensed, regulated wholesale grow and processing operation, with all product being shipped out of Delta County. These grow operations are in greenhouses where the environments are tightly controlled because their greatest concern is cross pollination from the numerous illegal grows that exist in our community. I was there and the only person who said anything about retail was me. Because I do have a medical marijuana card and now I have to drive out of the county, a local medical dispensary would be easier for me. Now my money and taxes benefit a neighboring county. There was no suggestion of any retail outlets, medical or recreational.
Additionally, 20 people addressed the board the evening he spoke of. Fifteen spoke in opposition and five in favor. With Matt's extensive education I am struggling with his new math that said only 10 percent were in favor.
The kind of wholesale grow and process operations under discussion, with the highest levels of security and constant scrutiny of state law enforcement, would be less obtrusive than Foster Farms chicken houses or Wick's dairy. Plus they would not have the issues of dealing with manure. This operation could employ 20 people or more at wages substantially higher than the average in Delta County. Persons employed in such a facility must past a background check that many of the opponents might fail. This could be economic growth in keeping with our agricultural heritage.
Third reaction to this article is for you dear editor. If in the future you decide to let someone publish an op-ed article it would be appropriate to seek out a counter opinion on the same issue. It is known as fair and balanced journalism. I want to be clear I am not speaking for any of my fellow Orchard City trustees or the mayor.