From the Editor’s Desk
The issues surrounding the legalization of recreational marijuana have created an unprecedented political divide among Calaveras residents and those of other communities around California. Typically, the issue is posed as whether to ban the commercial cultivation and sale of marijuana entirely, or regulate and tax it like other agricultural crops. Those choices were left to local towns, cities and counties under California law.
In Calaveras, this debate takes place in the historical context of: 1. a very long history of illegal activity that involved growing and selling marijuana; and 2. nearly two decades of local growers operating legally to supply the market created when medical marijuana was legalized in California.
More recently, Calaveras voters rejected the statewide proposition 64, while that measure to legalize both growing and selling recreational marijuana was passed by a significant majority of voters throughout the state in the 2016 election.
Within the past few months, public meetings in San Andreas and Angels Camp addressing the ban/regulate choices have devolved into emotional shouting matches and personal name-calling.
As the newspaper of record for the community, we strive to provide our readers with a balanced and objective presentation of the facts. In that same spirit, we are now creating a forum where members of this community can contribute to the debate with facts and reasoned statements of their views on this important issue. Personal attacks will not be tolerated.
We will also ask each contributor to include their name and local place of residence so that we can link each submission to an author who lives and is entitled to vote in the county. However, we recognize that there can be good reasons why someone might be unwilling to have their name associated with a particular position on the issue. In order to encourage the broadest participation, we will honor written requests to withhold the author's name.
Contributions will be accepted by email, fax or letter. All contributions that meet our basic requirement of a focus upon facts, choices and opinions rather than personalities and accusations will be posted to a separate cannabis forum page on our website at calaverasenterprise.com. In addition, and as space allows, we will print a representative sample of forum submissions in the Calaveras Enterprise.