The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Lou Marzeles

Speak your view to the county on the moratorium


The county is thinking about extending its current moratorium on new marijuana business. The current one expires April 21, just around the corner, and the county wonders if another six months might be useful. (See story on page 1.)

Here’s how the marijuana thing is ultimately going to play in this country. This is a very long-range view here, but it’s going to happen more or less along these lines.

First, things will follow the adage, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Presently this country has as its executive head someone who is uncomfortably comfortable with ambiguity, especially when it comes to the U.S. Constitution. He finds no problem with individual states in the United States (key word: “united”) following laws that are blatanly at odds with other laws that are supposed to apply equally to all the states. And he’s engaged a constituency that wants what it wants when it wants it and doesn’t care how it gets it. Presumably the pseudo logic behind this attitude is that sooner or later federal law will come round to the right side of this issue, so what’s the harm in letting a few states get a head start? The harm is, it does create a house divided. And it will not stand.

The current administration will use its little lame-duck legs as its term end approaches, in the wake of the inevitable Republican presidential victory of 2016, to get as much of its remaining agenda implemented as possible. But momentum will not be sufficient to pull it off. The new administration will view the course of the previous eight years as indefensible and take steps to bring federal law to uniform applicability. This will provoke a national crisis. Again.

Eventually the divided house will fall, for a time. The erosion of bonds is already so advanced, and opposition to maintaining them so narrow and strong, that the best the house will be able to do is tread water.

But longer term, science is going to finally and irrefutably show that ingesting smoke from burning objects of any kind actually isn’t the very best thing you can do to your body, despite any ostensible short-term benefits. As Dr. Michael Garnett has put it so well, the current attitude toward marijuana will one not-so-distant day be viewed with comic incredulity, like the Marlboro Man and Ronald Reagan’s 1950s endorsements of Chesterfield cigarettes and dancing Lucky Strike packs.

When that happens, the house will mostly come back together, at least in regards to this issue. But then there’ll be fresh discontent over the matter of the rising cost of Turtle Wax car polish because it takes so long to get it out of tiny turtle ears. You know human nature.

In the meantime, April 14 is the county’s public hearing meeting on the pot moratorium. Whatever your view on the matter (we will not be dismayed to learn our view is not universally admired), please get to the meeting and make your voice heard. Let the whole house speak.


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