I was disappointed to read the piece “Santa Barbara Cannabis and Its Discontents,” as I believe it does not reflect a balanced perspective on the extraordinary citizen efforts pushing back against commercial cannabis and the Board of Supervisor’s land-use framework that allows an unprecedented number of permits for grows — many near residents, vineyards, schools and an array of other businesses/uses.
Concerned Carpinterians and the broader S.B. Coalition for Responsible Cannabis are true grassroots collaborative citizens groups with combined hundreds of members and a sizable egalitarian leadership contingent. While Annie Bardach has made an excellent contribution, she is (like me) a relative newcomer to this grassroots movement that began years ago and has gathered increasing strength as residents and businesses have felt the negative impacts of commercial cannabis growing more acutely. I would urge you to check who the primary repeat speakers have been at the Board of Supervisors meeting after meeting — names like Anna Carrillo, Sally Eagle, and Merrily Peebles come to mind. These people have been tireless in their efforts over a long time.
Additionally, I would like to point out that it is not a fact that resources were the limiting factor in verifying grower affidavits. While that may be the assertion/perspective from one side of the issue, the supervisors could have decided to direct staff toward this critical area (or at least consulted the Planning Commission for advice/recommendation) in order to safeguard from the risk of fraudulently obtained land entitlements we now see playing out.