I’m a grandparent, homeowner, law-abiding citizen, card-carrying voter, community volunteer and working-class Cowlitz/Clark County “urban” resident and I see this issue around recreational marijuana farms and businesses in rural areas pretty much from a completely polar opposite viewpoint as Liz Pike (July 17 The Reflector) — with all due respect.
Let’s just kick it off with this: Colorado and Oregon have already figured this thing out as far as tax benefits go.
Oregon pays out $85 million in pot taxes to fund schools, cops, other services; Colorado made $1billion in marijuana tax revenue.
This leads me to make the point that it isn’t just “recreational marijuana” that these farms and cannabis brands are producing; this is a growing and innovative industry. CBD products are proving more and more beneficial to health and wellness every day for pets, plants and people. I have family members and friends that have discovered cannabis-based products to have near-miraculous benefits in helping them to manage serious health issues such as anxiety and depression, lupus, and even cancer. Cannabis-based products are improving their actual quality of living without the malignant addictive components of legal pharmaceuticals that are associated with crippling addiction that has consumed or debilitated at least one person that almost every single one of us knows or knows of today.
Perhaps Pike has not heard of the opiate crisis that has actually lead individuals to methamphetamine and heroin addiction and subsequent physical and mental health deterioration, who are then added to the state Medicaid census, as well as overwhelmed and overburdened law enforcement resources, judicial system processes and child protection and placement services.
As for the rural residents she refers, who live in the country and do not desire city services, and grow their own food and in some cases choose to homeschool their children and want local government to leave them alone — taxes and public services include all.
This is not to say that a DUII is not an irresponsible and illegal act, of course, it is, but to have law enforcement, county jails and our public judicial and family services bogged down with responsible and recreational marijuana growing, sales and use, is a misdirected use of our community resources, absurdly wasteful, and costly. After a couple of years of legal sales and relative tax contributions, I would be greatly interested in comparing the revenue against costs as she mentions after it’s all said and done. I anticipate a much brighter overall picture.
It seems to me a view that only looks at “The Right” is extremely short-sighted and wouldn’t take into consideration what could be helpful and beneficial to others, and Clark County and the wonderful State of Washington as a whole. Isn’t that supposed to be the fundamental viewpoint of a state representative?
Maybe her view is only of her own backyard.