We can’t help noticing that you’ve set up a Cannabis Corner in the Independent, prompting a few questions:
Is this a weekly feature to promote the marijuana industry and its products?
Will it be dedicated to just the Pros (and no Cons) about cannabis but not its myriad negative impacts to the county?
Which gives rise to the question: Is the cannabis industry assuming a financial interest to publish this feature?
We ask because we both live in Carpinteria, one of us near Summerland border and the other near Highway 150 — and it stinks from one end of the Carpinteria Valley to the other. Try driving by Santa Claus Lane or near Carpinteria High School with your windows open one evening.
But no one from the Independent has bothered to interview people like us or quote someone from our community. Nor from Santa Ynez’s equally negatively impacted community, as well as impacted areas in all five districts in the county.
Maybe ask us how many people we know who have respiratory issues?
Or talk to the workers in greenhouses when they return home and try to wash the odors out of their clothes?
Or the all-too-often harassment of those who speak out by agents of marijuana growers.
At a recent Carpinteria School Board meeting, we saw a reporter from the Los Angeles Times taking notes and conducting interviews, but no one from the Independent.
To date, it has been the national media (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, L.A. Times etc.) that pays any attention to the county’s extraordinary grass-roots resistance — and has taken note to what can reasonably be called The Cannabis Coup of Santa Barbara County.
We understand that the cannabis growers can likely contribute much-needed advertising revenue.
But how about the lives and efforts of thousands of county residents, avocado growers, and vintners who have given their hearts, time, and wallets to protect the health and safety of schools, preexisting industries, children, and residents?
Do we also count at your paper?
P.S. It was a very smelly morning at the polo fields today!
Lionel Neff is a member of Friends of Shepard Mesa.
Editors Reply: Cannabis Corner covers products, people, and trends of what is now a legal and extremely popular product. It is not a news column; Indy reporters have covered cannabis, odors, and Carpinteria extensively.