Bass and Neely–Through the Eyes of Women
Kathy Srabian, host of Through the Eyes of Women on KHSU set down with the two candidates for Supervisor in the fourth district, Bonnie Neely and Virginia Bass and asked some excellent questions. Here is a partial transcript of their marijuana responses but the half hour show offers a great deal of insight into the candidate’s positions on subjects ranging from gay marriage to the Balloon Track.
Neely on Marijuana: “It’s been Humboldt County’s cash crop for decades. I think we are all aware of how it’s contributed to our economy. I think the role of the county will be how we address that, how we regulate it. I see it as a very positive thing. I lived in Amsterdam, Holland and I lived in London, England in my twenties. These are two countries that decriminalized marijuana. They didn’t see an increase in drug use or abuse because of it. They looked at from a budgetary perspective, from an environmental perspective. And I think Humboldt County needs to do the same thing. We shouldn’t be afraid of this. We need to step up and make sure that what is branded as a Humboldt county industry continues to be a Humboldt County industry. And that we don’t lose this option to places like Oakland that are permitting indoor grows in huge warehouses trying to capture the entire market for medical cannabis.
…I think there definitely needs to be an adult conversation about this. I consider myself the adult in this race. I think that I would be a good person to help broker this conversation, to help educate the public, how the decriminalization could assist the community in terms of budgets. How we could free up jail space where now we have incarcerated users of medical marijuana, etc. I think definitely we need to have that conversation in our community. I have attended a few different meetings throughout the county where they’re have discussions about this subject.”
Bass on Marijuana: “I’ve heard that the impact from the industry could be up to I think its $ 1 billion in this community when you start looking at all the ancillary ways that it gets infused in the community. My first focus with the marijuana situation has been with the City of Eureka to work on our ordinance so that we can get grow houses out of neighborhoods. I think that’s actually in my mind a problem that I want to see addressed first. The city has done a good job of that. The county still has a little work to do on an ordinance that helps at least structure what happens in the world of the marijuana growing that protects the neighborhoods.
But when you’re talking economic, you know, I think what the Supervisors can do is be part of the larger discussion of “If Proposition 19 passes, what does that look like here?” And its going to make a very negative impact on a lot of.. cash sales. …Some people say let’s capitalize on it, let’s make it part of the tourist industry… I’ve heard other people say “I don’t even want to think about it. You know it’s just not going to happen.” So I think its important that the conversations are happening. And the supervisors need to be part of the conversation. I have to tell you right off the bat, I don’t know the right direction. or what the supervisors will do but you know I just think they’ve got to be part of the discussion on “what do we do, what does it look like?”
…We could bring people to the table that could leave their biases behind…There are a lot of people …who could bring some real valuable solutions forward but they’re not real fond of the idea that it could pass in the first place.. Once the the election goes through and if Proposition 19 moves forward, I think you are going to be able bring more people to the table because they are going to finally look at it and say alright this is more like a business and its going to be taxed how do we regulate it like we do other things in our community how do we make it more of a business then it is bringing some fo the operators who have been growing we got to do this in a way that’s a business. I think it is really going to change … I can’t believe all the money would dry up completely. but I also know people that say, “Even now without Prop 19 passing., prices are coming down….I don’t have a really good answer for you…. We need to have a very real adult discussion. But I’m not really certain who the people are to bring to the table on that. ..There are very influential people in the community who are going to have a real hard time thinking that this is the.. direction it is going but once it becomes a law..you’ve got to react. Isn’t it better to be proactive and plan before it’s a law. …There are other people who don’t want to even enter the conversation because they have it blocked out thinking it’s not going to happen. …”
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