Facts are important
We appreciate Mr. Rokyta’s March 9th editorial, “Commissioners’ dislike of pot not reason to restrict industry, “but feel some facts would help to inform the discussion. It is important to understand that the moratorium grew out of concerns of county residents about the lack of regulation on marijuana producers and processors in the unincorporated areas of Whitman County. A broad-based, diverse group composed of private citizens and representatives from healthcare, law enforcement, business, and the university voiced their concerns. The Selway zone change process simply raised public awareness. The commissioners did what we, as residents, should expect of our elected officials: they listened and acted responsibly.
The simple fact is this is not about I-502, it’s about now and the future. Nobody would vote to have an unregulated marijuana grow or processing facility next to them, or in their neighborhood. Zoning, air quality, water quality, county resource requirements, and economic impact all need to be addressed. Other counties in our area (Yakima, Benton, Franklin, Walla Walla, Spokane) and across the state have prohibited license transfers and new businesses, instituted strict regulations, or both based on these same considerations. Marijuana producers and processors are moving to Whitman county to escape regulations elsewhere in the state.
All industries necessarily face regulation. While six years without regulation doesn’t support Mr. Rokyta’s claims, it does put us six years behind the rest of the state in developing common sense regulations to protect our residents. It’s time for a moratorium. The Commissioners have acted in the best interest of county residents without affecting the current operations of marijuana producers or processors. It is easy to see the logic in that.
Benno & Julie Mohr
Contrary to what’s been written recently by the Daily News, common sense regulation of the cannabis industry benefits everyone. Proper regulation will protect the citizens of unincorporated Whitman County, including cannabis growers and processors who certainly do not want to inadvertently impact the health and safety of cannabis consumers. Thirty counties in Washington have already come to this conclusion and have enacted regulation on the cannabis industry. As one of the last counties in the state to address cannabis regulation, Whitman County can learn from the experiences of others and put measures in place to protect air quality, ensure waste water from cannabis production is treated properly, and safeguard our shrinking aquifer. At a recent meeting with Whitman County Commissioners, trusted members of the community including representatives from Washington State University, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Pullman Regional Hospital, the Whitman County Sheriff’s department, and Whitman County Fire District 12 all requested regulation be enacted to ensure the Palouse continues to be a safe and enjoyable place to live, work and raise families. Our County Commissioners and County Planners should be commended on their decision to ensure these operations are regulated to protect the health, safety and welfare of us all.
Sign up to receive email updates.