Plumas County should not allow commercial cannabis

We are so very fortunate in Plumas County to enjoy a pristine natural environment which attracts people who respect nature and are grateful for all we have. Commercial cultivation of cannabis will not protect or enhance that. Instead, it will bring a culture dominated by outside investment and exploitation of the environment. One of the real beauties of our county is that opportunities for financial windfall simply don’t exist here. Commercial cannabis will change that in the wrong direction and doesn’t belong in Plumas County.

There are homeless and transient populations that descend on communities that allow commercial cannabis at harvest time that do nothing to fill positions for qualified workers in other reputable industries. There is an increased burden on law enforcement and healthcare resources. And the promise of substantial tax revenues has evaporated in the counties which have embraced commercial cannabis.

Those who have medicinal need for cannabis already have ample opportunity to obtain their medicine from inside and outside our county via personal grows and cultivation and importation of finished product. And most evidence suggests that the adoption of commercial cannabis cultivation leads to an increase in usage of marijuana by teens and pregnant women, two groups of people who are most vulnerable to the harm that can be caused by cannabis.

Finally, it should be mentioned that cannabis is simply not a panacea that can end the current national and local opioid epidemic of disability and death. I wish it were. I work regularly with people who are having trouble limiting their use of opioids, and I can assure you that we all wish cannabis were the powerful pain reliever and antidote to opioid overuse that some proponents claim it is. It is not.

Yes, it seems to help some people. But Colorado just experienced (2017) the highest rate of opioid-related death in state history, three years after commercial cannabis became legal and widespread in that state. Humboldt County also has not seen a decline in opioid related deaths in the years since its cannabis commercialization.

Clearly, commercial cannabis is not the solution to the opioid epidemic. Plumas County, which in 2014 had one of the highest prescription opioid death rates in the state, has already reduced that rate to below state and national levels by employing multimodal compassionate treatment, which sometimes includes cannabinoids. Please vote “NO” on Measure B.

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