After reading Zach St. George's article "Burned by the Wait" (Feb. 23), I was struck not so much by the contents of the article, but by the glaring omission of any consideration of the actual cause of Ms. Thompson's and 10 other individuals' abrupt trip to homeless status. What concerns me is the author's apparent allocation of the responsibility for this outcome almost exclusively to Detective Wilcox.
My premise is simple: The vast majority of the responsibility for 11 people being forced out of their homes rests squarely with Ms. Formby and Mr. Davis as a result of their wantonly reckless decision to manufacture hash oil in a multifamily apartment. The couple's current situation results from their own risk assumption. Their neighbors did not have the luxury of participation in this decision; they were only forced to bear the results of the outcome.
If the arrogance and recklessness of this initial decision on the part of the couple was not enough, they had a second chance to minimize the effects of their behavior while being treated at the emergency room, according to the Eureka Fire Department Incident report, which I reviewed. The information regarding the concern over a potential bomb was relayed to a police officer interviewing the occupants at the emergency room. The officer questioned the occupants about a pipe device or potential bomb in the closet of their apartment, and their response was that they "stated they were consuming hash oil, and had no knowledge of a bomb or pipe," the report said.
It is unclear to me why the author chose to focus exclusively on one aspect of this tragedy to the exclusion of all others. Like most of these situations, the outcome was the result of a chain of seemingly small decisions and events that converged to result in tragedy. Local leaders including Supervisor Mark Lovelace have called repeatedly for an "adult discussion" of the marijuana industry. My hope is that this conversation not only includes consideration of the financial and regulatory aspects of the trade, but also considers the
increasingly corrosive underbelly that is affecting our communities on
an almost weekly basis.
Glenn Ziemer, Eureka