When I wrote our editorial last week in regards to Sup. Jill Cox and the email controversy surrounding her, I knew we would hear about it. And we did. Some of you were very complimentary, some not so much, and some downright nasty.
To the lady who left the message on my phone calling me “Jim Underwood’s bitch,” let me reassure you not Jim Underwood or anyone else has ever told us what to write and how to write it. Sure, we get suggestions and tips, like every other media outlet, but everything we print on the news side comes from our staff and our contributors, and is reviewed by the editor prior to publication.
(As a side note, even though we can see Underwood’s law office from our back parking lot, we only run into him at the occasional community function, or every few months inside Mamma Lamma’s. Nor do we spend a lot of time emailing him; when we do it is usually regarding Rotary Club events.)
Our newsroom decides what is important to cover each week. Then we go out and report on it, within our means, trying our best to be fair and thorough, to best explain to our readers what’s going on out in the world of Trinity.
Letters to the editor are just that, and we try to print them roughly in the order they come in (it’s a bit of a jigsaw puzzle). When we have a flood of letters on a particular topic, we try to print a representative mix of both sides, provided we actually get letters from both sides (for the May 10 edition, we did not).
The mix of calls and emails this past week also confused our position on cannabis: “You love it,” “You hate it,” “You’re a grower” (no we’re not), “You want it banned” (no we don’t).
During my 14 years here we’ve tried to be straight-forward in our cannabis coverage, reporting out as issues were discussed and considered, trying to allow the community to come to a consensus on what is best for Trinity County. If there was a time we came down hard on either side, it was early on when a handful of inconsiderate, nasty, entitled growers were competing for the “neighbor from hell” title. Other than that, we’ve tried to play it down the middle. Which is where we fall.
We see room for a thoughtful, organized collection of grows, packaging and distribution facilities, along with dispensaries within Trinity County. We see ag tourism as a viable possibility, akin to wineries. All within state and county cannabis and environmental rules and regulations.
We don’t see a cannabis utopia or Disneyland, nor do we see a complete ban on all cannabis activities. We don’t see grows adjacent to or encroaching into existing neighborhoods, nor do we see the illegal grading and excavation of hillsides as a benefit to the county.
When we first got here, marijuana growers kept telling us they just want to be farmers. After years of covering agriculture in the Central Valley and on the Central Coast we had three words of advice to them: “no you don’t.” You’ll spend half your day filling out reports and writing checks, we told them.
Water ingress, retention and egress, fertilizer and pesticide usage, dust control, light pollution, payroll, insurance, workman’s comp and more. All have to be accounted for. Then there’s marketing, sales, etc. And actual growing. All that on top of fighting against a formidable black market that plays by no rules and shows no signs of abating (a huge failure at both the state and federal level).
There’s room for a well-thought-out cannabis industry in Trinity County. But like the nation as a whole, the entrenched fringes are going to have to eventually come together and find common ground. If not, it will just be a continuation of name-calling and lawsuits. In that, nobody wins.
Well said! I think the majority of county residents are tired of the drama surrounding the conflict between a minority of extremely polarized individuals. Let's listen to those who disagree with us and try to focus on issues that we can work together to solve.
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