Are we governed by fear or facts?

Security was another concern of mine, until I read the Marijuana for Medicial Purposes Regulations.

Re: Letter to the editor “A bad location for a grow-op (Nelson Star, Wednesday, July 10, 2013).

As neighbours, family members and owners of the North Shore Water Utility, and being mentioned specifically in the paper, we felt that we could remain quiet no longer.

These properties have supported our entrepreneurial family and community for more than 50 years with a multitude of commercial and industrial businesses, ranging from a gravel pit (20 jobs), to concrete plant (10 plus jobs) to the last business of landscaping (10 jobs).  A potential medicinal marijuana grow operation  would provide 10 plus year around jobs. The properties are over 35 acres, sloped, bordered at the top with crown land, not as one letter writer stated: “surrounded by homes.” In fact, the closest home to current buildings and proposed building site is over 100 feet away and over 50 vertical feet up the hill with forest between, enough space for the old concrete plant in fact.

Security was another concern of mine, until I read the Marijuana for Medicial Purposes Regulations. Even my own research shows that medicinal marijuana grow operations in America that are under strict government rules, (like the Marijuana for Medicial Purposes Regulations) actually reduce crime in those areas because of the extensive security, not barbwire and electric fencing, but technology like motion sensor cameras and 24-hour monitoring. Unlike the old regulations, medical marijuana under the new regulations will be grown indoors only, under strict rules to protect neighbours and patients alike. No smells are allowed to leave the building and new production licences can be revoked. Pre-licence inspections for security, exhaust air quality, and electrical, among other things are mandatory.

When those concerned “chose to live in this neighbourhood” there was a busy landscaping/nursery business running in the very spot she wants to deny a quiet marijuana grow operation.

There is a 2013 petition with 92 per cent support from all the neighbours down either side of the access to the highway — these are the neighbours that would be impacted with major traffic improvements, unlike the letter writer who has had and will get zero traffic and wouldn‘t even be able to see the building from their home. The North Shore couple would not even cut down a single tree making their existing building bigger.

The couple have also given up most of the rights that AG4 zoning would give them including stables, kennels and farm animals to protect us from unlikely future owners, and have addressed every issue brought forward.

Marijuana has defined the “spirit of the Kootenays” for decades. Now that it’s finally regulated properly, we need to embrace it and the jobs and tax revenue. We’ve read the new regulations. Are we governed by fear or facts? We’ll see on the 18th.

Ken & Louise Sutherland

Nelson