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I think it’s time for a debate on cannabis

I am Ken Donnell, of Greenville, the person Mr. Patrick Luscri refers to six times as a “fellow resident” in his Where I Stand commentary of Jan. 29, and regarding my previously published pro-cannabis comments. While it is good to read alternate points of view, I am concerned by his hostile tone, and poor use of facts. His opinions are severely outdated and he appears unable to grasp the full impact of the federal legalization of Hemp. However, as his comments were part of an “opinion piece,” I will grant him the right to express such opinions without factual back-up.

Mr Luscri envisions a “black and white world,” where there are clear winners and losers. My view of the world is much more inclusive and nuanced. I work to create “win-win scenarios,” and recognize the fluidity of events in life, including this historic transition from black market cannabis to a fully legal, regulated, and taxed industry. I seek to promote dialog and compromise which pulls us together as a community, rather divides us into winners and losers.

I believe that there are so many outdated opinions and erroneous facts within Mr. Luscri’s comments that I cannot accurately address all of these now. Therefore, I wish to invite Mr. Luscri to engage with me in a series of friendly public debates using a League of Women Voters styled format to allow each of us to fully disclose our opinions and sources about commercial cannabis, and be open to answering questions from the public in attendance. Events around cannabis have evolved so much in the past two years that such a public event would help the citizens and leaders of Plumas county be fully informed to make the best possible decisions as the legalization of cannabis in California and across the USA moves forward. I sincerely hope Mr. Luscri will accept my invitation.

There is one specific subject he included in his comments which I want to address now regarding the suitability of the Plumas county climate for cannabis cultivation. Mr Luscri writes, “We have a limited growing season for cannabis AND hemp……  Bottom line: Plumas is simply not a good spot for commercial cannabis.” The facts are completely the opposite. Hemp and other cannabis strains are successfully grown commercially in many different climates, and at altitudes above 10,000 feet. Cannabis and hemp is adaptive to all of these climates, with strains evolving in each region which lend specific characteristics to how the plant grows, and the ways these plants can be used to create a variety of marketable products. With fertile valley at elevations of 3500 to 5000 feet, combined with the local clean air and abundant water, Plumas county is a spectacular location for the cultivation of specific strains of hemp and cannabis planned for human consumption as food or medicine.

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