Protect Paso Robles’ children, take a critical look at cannabis

October 29, 2022


It’s interesting that Becky Zelinski not only chooses to label Ron Cuff’s editorial opposing the further development of the cannabis retail trade in Paso Robles a “fallacious fairy tale,” but further infers that Mr. Cuff’s “dark” intention is to influence the upcoming mayoral race.

If this were some type of political messaging, then Mr. Cuff misses the mark by mentioning the contest and challenger only once, and never the incumbent. It’s pretty clear that the issue is the focus, and only at the end does he suggest that a new mayor can successfully change a community’s course.

Whatever one thinks about the personal use of cannabis, the fact is that many cities in California have been sold a bill of goods and pummeled into submission by money-influenced politicians to accept this as our new “green gold.” First promoted as “medicinal”, early proponents have continued the push for loosened regulations, lessened taxes and acceptance in our former agricultural communities.

Our neighbors to the south, Santa Barbara County, have now earned the honor of having one of the most robust cannabis industries in California, and the formerly bucolic beach town of Carpinteria is engaged in an unpleasant war between the pot industry and the residents who now live in an overwhelmingly “skunk-smell”  environment.

Ms. Zelinski very correctly points out that California voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of increased cannabis via the initiative law conduit. Money indeed speaks loudly in the initiative process, but that process consistently produces poorly conceived regulations. Those examples (such as Prop 187 and Prop 47) abound, but are then memorialized in legislation until further initiatives either repeal or modify them. The legislative process is messy and cumbersome, but demands public accountability of our elected officials.

Mr. Cuff points out that drugs and alcohol are pervasive in our culture and need anything but expansion if we desire successful subsequent generations.

The early promises of regulating cannabis like alcohol have never materialized. Tax receipts have never reached promised amounts. Controls over shipping, origins and destinations are non-existent.

DUI is a problem, but there is no defensible test to confirm what the officer readily observes in the field. Emergency rooms, particularly in college towns, deal with weed-induced psychosis and, in the case of edibles, child poisonings. The black market flourishes with impunity, a lesson we could have learned from Colorado if we had listened.

Mr. Cuff doesn’t mention the environmental issues and water use associated with cultivation, because his focus is on children and their ability to develop into successful and happy adults. Don’t take his word for it, go downtown and witness young people that can barely control their motor skills. That 18 year-old you’re watching was in 4th grade 8 years earlier. Yes, alcohol does its damage to our youth, even though it is legal and highly regulated. Pick your adult poison, but let’s not needlessly add another substance use disorder into the mix by pretending that cannabis is a benign substance, and consequently convincing our children of the same.

Protect Paso Robles’ grace, charm and character. Protect our kids so they can grow up and experience something other than a chemically induced “buzz.”

Lastly, if “homelessness” is a subject you are concerned about, consider the roles of substance use plays. Addiction begins with any intoxicant and is a disease, not a character flaw. According to National Institute on Drug Abuse, 90% of addiction begins before age 18. Please consider these elements as community concerns and not just another form of recreation or tax revenue.

Dorian Baker is a retired teacher who has lived in the North County for more than 40 years.

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Cannabis should have never been categorized under federal law as a schedule one drug. When that is reversed, most of the problems associated with cannabis will be eliminated. Cannabis is not the problem. Laws trying to regulate its use are the problem.

I read on a Facebook post John Hammon is actually a Chinese Ham Farmer and is lobbying for larger pig cages and is a proponent for Drug use due to being an anti pig vaccine incell. Apparently, he also staged January 6th using CRT lidar via a bird drone to get nude shots of protests. Apparently, he payed off Tiana Arata. He was the one flying the drones above Slo so I heard. Idk though. He apparently might have founded and worked for the Ford administration next to Kissinger.

Give this man a segment on FOX Zoooos, lol.

I’m more worried about CRT; continuous radio transmissions and 5g towers. Bird drones from the Feds too and antifa really scare me. I use roundup for Weed.

The Paso licenses will be awarded as a result of corruption as has been every cannabis license in the county to date. They “rate” applicants based on the planning consultants they hire and ignore criminal records.

Great insight and facts. Bottom line, it’s all about greed. Mayor Steve Martin is selling out his community. Vote to remove him.

I agree with most of Mr. Bakers’ insight, we can learn from his firsthand observations.

But I believe addiction is caused by long term abuse of chemicals that alter reality in people that are not willing to deal with life’s many challenges. A personality lacking responsibility or character flaw fits.

Interesting arguments. Pot shop permitting seems to be a problem no matter where. But don’t see how Paso can avoid cannabis from elsewhere. Let’s hand the pot shop permitting problem over to ABC. They seem to be doing a good job regulating liquor licenses. While we are at it, let us cease collecting liquor taxes on beverages that have less than 5% alcohol. Move people to drinking less alcohol. As for kids, you got to take an active role in your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren’s lives. This means working folks need to get time off to help their children, and support when pregnant and raising little ones.

Outstanding Article

Sounds like a letter from the 1870’s by a member of the WCTU.

Substance abuse is simply the byproduct of 40 years of Reaganomics and Neoliberal economic policies which have robbed many Americans from pursuing a job that can provide a living wage. Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders noted a few years ago the U.S. had lost some 60,000 factories that moved overseas. Those were the jobs for the masses that could sustain a family and give the worker dignity. Today, according to CNBC, more than half of Americans could not cover a $1,000 emergency. Fix those economic realities and it doesn’t matter what substances are legal or illegal.

Reaganomics and Neoliberal policies work great in this country, The problems arise when it’s applied to foreign nations that don’t follow these practices such as communist China, who subsidized the solar panel industry long enough to put all north American manufactures out of business. Trump was correcting these unfair practices when the US citizens got caught up in who was nice and who they like more, and we’re left with, well not much.

Well, certainly a rudimentary understanding of the issue, but, yes, China does not believe in free market capitalism. They like capitalism, as long as they set the rules, and unfortunately they have done that in recent years.

The U.S. has demand for manufactured goods and the Chinese have low labor costs, so, once the flood gates were opened for American companies, like Nike and Apple, to go multinational with no penalties from our federal government, they did so, with extreme bias, making stock holders in those companies multi-millionaires, simply because they had the extra money to invest.

Believing that the money made by the ultra-rich would trickle down has been the guiding principle of the previous six administrations before Biden, even Clinton and Obama.

In other words, Republican and Democrat alike has sold the American worker down the road. We lost tens of thousands of factories and the good union labor that worked in those shops. There was a day, as recently as the 1980’s that a high school educated worker could make a living wage, buy a house, send his kids to college (see the movie Wall Street—it’s a perfect analogy). I suggest you read J.D.Vance’s book about his family that does a great job of chronicling the downfall of our industrial core and the loss of dignity by the majority of those workers. Many of them, unfortunately, turned to drugs.

Which gets me to Trump. He said all the right things during the campaign, basically echoing what Bernie Sanders had been saying for 20 years. America needed to put tariffs on Chinese goods and any other goods that came from predatory nations. He said he would make his rich friends unhappy by raising their taxes. Remember the “it’s going to cost me a fortune” line about taxes from his stump speeches?

Turned out he was lying. While he did cut middle class taxes for some (and these were set to run out in 10 years), many ended up paying more—Californians with property were specifically targeted.

In fact, Trump cut taxes for himself and the top 1%. All the while pushing the federal deficit to its limits with nearly a $3 trillion loss in revenue, just in time for a worldwide pandemic which left the U.S. government less room for error in dealing with it.

I would say that when the history of the Trump Administration is written 100 years from now, kids in cages, condoning white supremacists, kissing Putin’s ass, inciting an insurrection, etc. will all be forgotten, but his tax cut’s negative influence on the economy will be remembered and studied as what not to do.

Here’s a great article about it: