The Nose Point

Something’s rotten in Carpinteria. Do property rights end at the point of someone’s nose?

As a libertarian, I find the big things (public education, income tax, welfare, warfare) easier to address (all no), than the more nuanced things, such as land use and environmental protection.

Contentious case in point: cannabis growing near housing (or other people’s noses).

Cigarette smoking has been banned in many public places because second-hand smoke allegedly harms the health of nonsmokers and most nonsmokers find second-hand smoke obnoxious. Speaking for myself, as a libertarian, clearly the right to life (health) of the nonsmoker, trumps the right to smoke and expose others to harm without their consent. Consent is implied if one voluntarily enters private property where smoking is allowed.

Though I firmly endorse a landowner’s right to grow cannabis, absent an amicable solution, it’s not difficult to side with adjoining property owners who object to odor and other risks inherent with cannabis farming. Why? Because the odor (and other potential problems, like burglary and possibly worse), devalues property, degrades air, and possibly jeopardizes health, thus violating the more fundamental rights of neighboring property owners.

Why are progressive-environmentalist regimes permitting cannabis growing in populated areas? As with many other zoning issues, citizens are secondary to the revenue an enterprise will generate for the regime. Especially if other significant revenue generating enterprises (i.e., fossil fuels) have been severely restricted or banned.


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