Opinion: Backcountry residents don’t want marijuana businesses – The San Diego Union-Tribune

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Cannabis business not as benign as some say

Re “The San Diego region is inexplicably slow on legalizing cannabis commerce” (): My wife and I have lived in Spring Valley since 2000. To marijuana lobbyists like Laura Wilkinson – and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors – it seems my community and the lives of my neighbors are expendable.

On February 5, 2021, a man was shot and killed at a Spring Valley marijuana storefront. The violence in our neighborhood and surrounding unincorporated communities continues, with drive-by shootings, armed robberies, and arrests.

Many of our neighbors are hardworking local business owners that now sit side by side with shops full of guns, loads of cash, and the enhanced dangers of drivers cruising the streets impaired, putting families at risk.

It is ludicrous that the Board of Supervisors wants to study expanding storefronts in unincorporated communities like mine. I am a constituent, not a paid lobbyist. The lives of my family and those of my neighbors deserve better.

Jason Baker

Spring Valley

As a 27-year resident of unincorporated San Diego County, I cannot stress enough the negative outcomes we will see if the San Diego County Board of Supervisors moves forward with plans to allow marijuana cultivation, distribution, manufacturing and retail sales in our unincorporated areas.

Marijuana cultivation leads to environmental degradation. Poisonous chemicals like pesticides are used by growers, and butane is used to extract butter and wax from plants garnering staggering amounts of THC. Butane use can lead to explosions in our region which is already primed for wildfires due to drought. Diversion of our limited water supply to grow drugs and the use of potentially flammable chemicals is both selfish and threatening to residents.

Our area has long been a tourist destination for people who enjoy nature, recreation, and outdoor activities. Adding stoned pot retail consumers and marijuana delivery trucks to our crowded, windy roads is dangerous. Gaining profits from drug cultivation and sales should not be exchanged for our health and safety.

Jean Duffy