As a republic, we the people elect others to represent us and to make decisions on our behalf. This form of government, as envisioned by our founding fathers, works for the most part but there are certain issues that potentially have such an impact, real or perceived, on the citizenry that it needs to be voted on by we the people.

Our elected officials should be smart enough and sensitive enough to recognize these issues but often do not for any number of reasons. Therefore, we the people have the ability to put things on the ballot by petitioning the government. This petitioning process gives everyone the opportunity to have a voice on any given issue or subject and is about as American as you can get. To state it another way, the ballot box can be a great equalizer.

The act of allowing legalized marijuana growing farms in this county is an issue of such importance that it is inconceivable to me that our Board of Supervisors would be so arrogant as to think they possess such authority over we the people. Nevertheless, they have done so and it is now time for we the people to have our say to them and the special interest groups.

We can do so by supporting any petition that will put this issue on the ballot. I realize there are those of you who will not understand what I am saying here so to be clear, I am not encouraging anyone to vote for or against banning legalized marijuana growing in this county. That is not what this is about. I am suggesting, however, that regardless of what you think or feel on this subject, we the people have a right to vote on it. If that right isn’t why I devoted my career to protecting this country and putting myself and my family in harm’s way, then I am at a complete loss as to why.

Edward Neal

West Point

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