Each time I pick up one of our local papers, it seems, like there is a headline regarding marijuana dispensaries. So much attention is focused on where they should be allowed to be, how many there should be, whether or not they affect the appeal of our community, and so much more. Our constant focus on these issues in the news has a drastic impact on the peoples’ impressions of what our main issues of concern truly are here in Santa Barbara.

Is our main problem the fact that small groups of people have discovered a way to stimulate our economy and provide medicine to those who otherwise would be suffering? Do we not have other problems in our schools, that we have to spend our precious time and money arguing over the effects of placing such shops near our children? Why don’t we take our attention away from the people who are trying to better themselves and others, and light a fire under the issues that really need our attention?

Yes, most people don’t want to read about the gang violence, increase of child abuse in the homes, or affects of alcoholism in the community, but these are real issues. These are issues that we need to focus on. These are matters that need to be attended to. We need to give credit where credit is due and focus on the real problems that are causing major problems in our schools and neighborhoods.—Nicole Goldenne


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