Fear not. Embrace commercial cannabis.


Our pro-grow fellow residents keep encouraging us to overcome our fear of commercial cannabis for the good of Plumas County. They implore us to follow their lead and do what’s best for our community by embracing it. To this end, one pro-cannabis business voice offers a false dichotomy in his question: “Is the future of cannabis in Plumas County based on compassion or fear?”

Why A or B? Why not a responsible county ordinance that supports Prop. 64 and the common good?

Come now, fellow Plumas residents, they say—for the good of our county, fear not and embrace the future (with commercial cannabis activity). They implore us to trust them even as they fear our BOS will adopt an ordinance that limits their ability to profit from the Green Rush. They invite us to choose compassion over fear and support them as they follow their cannabis business dreams.

After all, it’s for our best.

Fear and ignorance

The fearful-Plumas-resident-afraid-of-cannabis is a construct that works like this:

By assigning fear to those who disagree with them, they imply that we’re fearful because we’re ignorant. It’s nonsense and a nonstarter. We can disagree because we’re informed and unafraid to say NO to something that will harm our community and its people. How do we know commercial cannabis will harm Plumas? We have only to look (with open minds and with no purse strings attached) at counties that have already made the mistake of allowing it.

When we do, we’re confronted with these inescapable questions: Why make the same mistake? Why would any of us—on either side—think Plumas with commercial cannabis would fare better than Siskiyou or Calaveras?

They believed the promises of prosperity, and now they’re fighting more illegal growers, more cartel activity, and more environmental damage. How is it rational to think this wouldn’t happen in Plumas? Would it not be compassionate to spare our county and its people the ills commercial cannabis activity has brought to other California counties?

The false dichotomy of basing the future of cannabis in Plumas County on compassion OR fear hinges on this presupposition: Those who want commercial cannabis do so primarily out of compassion for medical marijuana patients. Yet Prop. 64 allows patients to continue getting their medicine. So does the moratorium. Growers can still provide medical marijuana. And with six plants per patient, they can still harvest a surplus of product.

Compassion or self-interest?

What have changed are profit margins. Growers can expect profits from selling their surplus to dispensaries to continue taking a hit. With Prop. 64’s tilt toward big cannabis and the coming glut of legal weed, this is inevitable and has little to do with fear or compassion.

Speaking of compassion, is this its epitome: providing patients with their 16-24 ounces of yearly medicine (from six plants) in order to make $12,000-24,000 per patient by selling the leftover 10-20 pounds (based on pre-Prop. 64 prices)?

Wouldn’t it be more compassionate to “donate” back a portion of profits to patients, so they can afford better health care? Wouldn’t this compassionate arrangement be the ultimate in beneficial collective cooperation and make for better care giving?

These are only questions, not accusations and are not based in fear or ignorance, but in a desire for honest discussion. Instead of positioning themselves as cornering the fear-free compassion market, perhaps pro-commercial cannabis voices could engage those who disagree with them without assigning bogus fears and implying ignorance.

Dear Plumas growers and pro-cannabis business supporters,

We understand your position on commercial cannabis in Plumas. We simply disagree fundamentally. But we do so not out of fear, but with compassion for our fellow residents and love for our county and community.

To make our thoughts and emotions regarding our cannabis issue crystal clear: We support Props. 64 and 215 and wish to accommodate recreational and medical marijuana use in a responsible cannabis ordinance. We do not wish to prevent patients from getting their medical marijuana and have revised our ordinance draft to allow its delivery.

We’re against commercial cannabis activity in Plumas County for reasons we present on plumasgrow.com. We do not fear cannabis or those who support its commercialization. We’re not ignorant nor do we lack compassion. To the contrary, our group is made up of smart, savvy, educated, honest, dedicated and compassionate Plumas residents who want only the best for our county and fellow citizens.

We who oppose commercial cannabis in our county are not the bad guys—your beef is with big cannabis and those who facilitate them legislatively. Please stop misrepresenting our hearts and minds regarding our county cannabis issue.

Lastly, let’s be more neighborly and give each other the benefit the doubt when it comes to fear and compassion. Rather than labeling one another with misplaced emotions, let’s base a civil and relevant discourse on honesty and ideas.

3 comments on “Fear not. Embrace commercial cannabis.

  1. Bill Stivers says:

    Very well written, but we need be to able to reach most Plumas County citizens.
    I noticed that if you go to Google Search, the following information comes up first:
    Plumas County, Official Website, Cannabis Workshop.
    There should be a way to get Plumasgrow.com website at the top of the search engine or at least next to it.

    1. William Stivers says:

      I agree.

  2. Sharon Covington says:

    I’m glad you brought these issues to the forefront. I weary of being accused of fears I do not have and ignorance which does not characterize this discussion nor my own conclusions. The more I study the more firmly I believe that the facts and the current statewide situation warrant a strong opposition to commercial cannabis. I also appreciate the reminder that the big guys are the ones who are putting not only the community, but the small growers, in a very negative position. The money, expertise, and momentum of this movement comes from very deep pockets indeed, and has no compassion for the sick, the small grower, the recreational user, nor the quality of life of this County. Thanks for the clarifying piece, and for inviting our neighbors to engage on different ground.

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