The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

Pot shots

Letters from the Community


To the Editor:

Apparently, we need to discuss the lunacy of a possible “Pot Shop” in Goldendale.

While the State of Washington voted for legalization of marijuana, Klickitat County and Goldendale both voted it down, based on our community’s set of standards. To consider a shop across the street from a regular teen and children favorite (Dairy Queen and Subway) and at an already dangerous intersection of Broadway and US 97 is both ludicrous and carelessly dangerous.

Both studies, and recent statistics, show that driving while impaired from marijuana intake (inhaled or ingested) is a huge safety concern and a rising issue in both Washington State and Colorado. While there are many who would like to disregard public safety, personal and community health and public mores, these issues will come to harm Goldendale overall. This community reels from existing drug and alcohol problems with everything from blight, thefts, health, under-employment, and teen and younger abuse of drugs and alcohol as it is. Do we really want an already dangerous intersection even more dangerous, have a morally corrosive store on our main entrance to Goldendale and a constant threat and increasing availability of enticing items such as candies, foods and vaporing (E-cigarettes) in conjunction with gaining a moniker for Goldendale that we, as a community and county didn’t vote for?

Darrell Smith


To the Editor:

Having family ties that go back to the early 1900s, Goldendale has always been a special part of Washington State for my family and me. After an absence from Goldendale for 13 years, my husband and I chose to move back a few years ago, primarily because of the many positive factors, among which were the family values, community spirit and friendliness of its citizens.

Like any town in today’s culture, Goldendale is not without its challenges, but there are many who desire to help and are working to meet those challenges. Therefore, I was greatly dismayed to hear that an application has been made to open a pot shop in town.

The legalization of marijuana was most decidedly not something the voters of Klickitat County were in favor of, and to have its sale in the county seat itself would be a travesty on so many levels. Studies show that it is in fact a gateway drug which brings with its use, risks to the lungs, brain, stomach, intestines, and mind. It is also clinically shown to cause birth defects. Only “selling it to those over 21” is no guarantee that those younger will not have increased ready access to it. Use with growing children is even more devastating to their own health and to their offspring. The fact that it is legal is not the issue here, because legality doesn’t negate the harmful effects to individuals, community and culture. Klickitat County overwhelmingly voted the legalization of marijuana down in the election; we don’t want the store in our community, either.

Melissa Smith


To the Editor:

Statements such as “controlled by the Liquor Control Board” and “only going to sell to ages 21 and older” should never give us cause to think that everything will be fine for our communities. If we believe that our young people are safer because the government has a hand in “controlling” intoxicating substances then we indeed are a naïve people and have not been looking around to see the proof of the opposite.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in 2009:

• 10.4 million young people ages 12–20 reported they drank alcohol beyond “just a few sips” in the past month.

• People ages 12 through 20 drink 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the United States.

• By age 18 more than 70 percent of teens have had at least one drink.

• Every year in the United States, about 5,000 young people under the age of 21 die as a result of underage drinking.

• In 2008 alone about 190,000 people under age 21 visited an emergency room for alcohol-related injuries.

• Among college students under age 21 alone, 50,000 experience alcohol-related date rape and 430,000 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.

All these statistics have come from a substance that has been “regulated” and “controlled” by the government for quite some time. What makes us think they would do a better job with marijuana?

Obviously, we would have a false sense of security if we believed the Liquor Control Board could ever effectively safeguard our young people.

So my first question is this: Why are we allowing yet another intoxicant to be “regulated” and “controlled” by an entity that has proven to have failed our children so miserably already in the past?

My second question is: Will our city leaders take steps to protect our young people by prohibiting the legal sale of marijuana?

Peggy Woodard



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