The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Darrell Smith

The people's will


To the Editor:

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

The people of Klickitat County and the City of Goldendale voted down I-502 (Marijuana Legalization Initiative) in 2012, while the west side of Washington State carried it. The people of Klickitat County and of Goldendale also seated leaders based on their assurances that they would clearly reflect the will of the voters in their districts and stand firm if that will was threatened. We expect them to uphold the consensus of the will of the people of this county, not permit processing and growing of marijuana foisted on us by outside special interest groups, intent on strong-arming the trusting nature of the population.

The voters were given assurances that our leaders would “do right by doing well” when the time came. Now we find ourselves having to apply the brakes as citizens ourselves because the county did, in fact, manage to bow to special interest groups in direct defiance of the will of the majority of the voters of Klickitat County. Error may occur by both commission and omission. By simply waiting for the voters to find out on their own, precious time was lost, and the playing field has tilted against us. So how did the pro-marijuana folks know, and it was missed by those who most assuredly do not want it? Hmm.

There is no such thing as a “perfect storm” of “Well, that’s just how it all just sort of happened” coincidence. From all the facts so far, this appears to be a concerted effort as a multi-point attack on the good people of this county to jam down our throats a single-interest issue that is still—on the books at the federal level—illegal. A single federal administration change in Washington D.C. and we can find ourselves in violation with an enforced federal law by a real Attorney General of the United States. “Future generations? Who cares?” The growers, processors and sellers are saying, in effect, “We want what we want when we want it. Forget about everyone else.”

Here is a recap of just a few articles and opinions from prominent sources, just from the last two weeks:

• John Hickenlooper, Colorado Governor: “The matter of fact is... I’ll say it was reckless” to proceed on legalizing marijuana for Colorado.”

• This month in The Daily Mail, a British newspaper: a 20-year study by Professor Wayne Hall, an advisor to the World Health Organization, states one in six teens become dependent, doubles risk of psychotic disorders including Schizophrenia; adolescent use impairs intellectual development; driving after smoking doubles the risk of accident; one in 10 adults become dependent; and smaller birth weight for babies, putting them at risk. The study author says, “If cannabis is not addictive then neither is heroin.”

• International Business Times: Teens who smoke daily are seven times more likely to commit suicide. From Lancet, the British equivalent of the American Medical Association, Oct. 10, 2014.

• American Lung Association: There are 33 cancer causing chemicals in marijuana smoke.

Upon studying Colorado’s roll-out of their marijuana laws, we currently find 37 counties that voted No; five Current Moratorium; 16 Yes; three Conditional Use. That is 42 against, 19 for.

We can, and should, ban the substance in Klickitat County forthwith.

Washington State’s own Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, says counties and cities can ban marijuana businesses in their jurisdictions. That is what the majority of voters want in Klickitat County.

Now is the time to do the right thing. Otherwise, the current authorities here will have the permanent moniker as the men who presided over Klickitat County spiraling down to the equivalent of Pottersville.


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