I just stumbled across Thadeus Greenson's piece "Behind the Brown Act" in the May 8 edition of the NCJ. In that piece, Thadeus Greenson compares local citizens, upset about a proposed ordinance that would prohibit them from growing their own medicine, to oil company executives bent on fracking.
In an effort to match this level of hyperbole I ask: What If homeowners in Willow Creek were complaining about Jews, and the distinctive smell of gefilte fish, not to mention the impacts of visible mezuzahs and menorahs? Would the county be considering an ordinance to treat Jews like any other destructive, polluting and extractive industry?
The ordinance in question would prohibit private citizens, living in residential neighborhoods, from producing the medicine they need. These people didn't ask to get glaucoma, cancer, epilepsy or any number of other serious conditions. If the county won't provide these people with free medical marijuana, the county should, at least, not bother patients who grow their own medicine, in their own yard, regardless of size.
Whether it's lawn mower exhaust, toxic fumes from dryer vents, smoky barbecue grills or trucks left idling in the driveway, suburban residents constantly assault each other with foul smelling clouds of toxic gas. If medical marijuana patients have to put up with their neighbor's leaf blowers and dryer fumes, those neighbors can also tolerate the non-toxic smell of marijuana.
To stop medical marijuana patients from growing more than they need, and diverting the surplus into the black market, the obvious solution is complete legalization. Until then, we should understand why anyone involved with marijuana in any way, would be very cautious about revealing their identity, considering the long history of government persecution that marijuana users have endured, and the social prejudice against them that remains.
John Hardin, Ettersburg