Thank you for exposing the environmental impacts of money grows ("Weed Killers," Nov. 14). We will appreciate it if you do not confound those with marijuana grows, which are small and responsibly done. We'll also appreciate it if you will display the bright sides of the industry which have been ongoing locally for 40 years and are seldom mentioned by media.
Our organization, HUMMAP (the Humboldt/Mendocino Marijuana Advocacy Project), represents small growers who act in environmentally responsible ways. We hope to preserve the lifestyle that brought marijuana here, respecting it both as a communal sacrament and as the economic powerhouse of our two counties. In polling conducted over years, local growers have consistently suggested 2,000 square feet of canopy as a reasonable upper limit of grow sites. Grows beyond that size are money grows. The love of money is destroying our environment and our community, as your article suggests.
There is an under-used tool to combat the Greed Rush: peer group pressure. We ask that community members together ask their neighbors to be responsible. There are clear examples where this has worked, with the "Grow It in the Sun" movement spreading out of Salmon Creek, and with efforts of our members to curtail the damage of fuel spills from diesel grows. Also, we encourage the many merchants who enable the marijuana industry to show they care for our community and future. These together will not deter all, and here we respect the hard work of government.
We are pleased the environmental groups finally are agreeing to join in our effort to contain the damage of this huge industry. What remains is for some agencies to separate out malicious motives such as unjust code enforcement and for leaders such as supervisors finally to recognize the great future ahead in a healthy marijuana industry.
Robert Sutherland, Ettersburg