I tender my sincere apologies to last week's letter writer Robin Hashem for irritating what seems to be a sore spot ("Shades of Sunshine," March 24). I mean no insult either to ordinances or uprisings by suggesting that they don't always bring out the best in each other. In my view, holding public hearings on an ordinance to regulate indoor medical marijuana - after a national camera crew accosting suspected grow houses is immediately followed by APD raids on those publicized families - seems rather to discourage than encourage such families from participating in public hearings. I may be wrong.
My larger point is that regulations written by and for our largest cities don't apply to our county's 3,500 square miles of extraordinarily diverse rural countryside - yet our county has proposed that Arcata's standards become Ettersburg's standards. This is why so many people across the county prefer to see broad, open discussions about our various countywide regulatory needs, in order to inform our county ordinance with perspectives, information and professional advice that hasn't been heard. Our goal is to create a new regulatory beginning for our burgeoning medical cannabis industry, built on cooperation and mutual understanding, to assure a prosperous future for cities and countryside alike.
Arcata's right to be proud of standing up in defense of her neighborhood values and housing stock. As a pioneer in uncharted legal thickets, she's cleared a path to be furthered and cultivated, ideally with innovative new features as well as traditional (arguably not entirely successful) techniques used for the past 40 years. I very much hope we will do this important work together, so we all can inform and enjoy its successes for many years to come.
Charley Custer, Redway,
Humboldt Medical Marijuana Advisory Panel