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Santa Maria Sun / Letter To The Editor

The following article was posted on December 11th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 40 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 18, Issue 40

Support Lompoc's cannabis ordinance

By ANGELA BACCA

Dear Sun, you need more balanced cannabis coverage. You recently published an editorial by Lompoc resident Ron Fink about his irrational concerns over legalized cannabis in Lompoc (“Lompoc residents concerned over cannabis referendum,” Nov. 23). It fails to acknowledge there is already (unregulated) marijuana all over Lompoc and that legalization only paves the way for tax, regulation, and legitimate businesses opening their doors in a city that needs it. I would implore all the local media on the Central Coast (the Sun included) to drop the puns in the marijuana coverage and take a serious look at what is happening in Lompoc. This is not just a story about drugs, but about the economy, freedom, and health of Lompoc citizens.

Fink’s “concerns” are irrational and alarmist. The Sun’s Canary doesn’t do much better, with a ridiculous op-ed titled “*Cough cough*” (Nov. 30) where Joe Garcia and the Lompoc Valley Cannabis Coalition are referred to as “bong-hitting babies.” 

Let me pause while I hit my bong for this one.

I grew up in Lompoc. My parents were business owners there for more than 30 years and still live in town. I attended St. Joseph High School in Orcutt before moving away to greener pastures—the regulated markets of San Francisco and Oakland, where (while hitting a bong the whole time) I earned a bachelor’s in journalism and an MBA from Mills College. See, in my senior year of high school, I started experiencing the extremely painful symptoms of Crohn’s Disease. I have since had over 2 feet of my colon surgically removed. Cannabis has allowed me to keep getting out of bed and pushing through the obstacles without the crippling side effects I got from pharmaceutical drugs. I am so grateful to have moved to a place that embraced the science behind cannabis use, not the propaganda, the way many on the Central Coast have.

I have been working in the cannabis industry now for more than 10 years as a cultivation book editor for Ed Rosenthal, a magazine editor, business consultant, and freelance journalist. I regularly travel and work in different states with varying levels of legalized cannabis including California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Ohio, and Missouri. I have witnessed firsthand the stark differences between places that have embraced the industry and places like my home region of Santa Barbara County, which have for some reason, eschewed this important industry and allowed money and people to follow the opportunity elsewhere.

It is imperative that Mayor Bob Lingl drop his opposition to this important industry opening its doors in Lompoc. I am prepared to bring in significant resources from my friends in the industry to support the recall if Lingl doesn’t drop his attempt to ban. It is imperative Lompoc be allowed to enrich itself for once, but more imperative that people like me finally get voter-approved safe access to medical marijuana in Lompoc. Because, although the state of California voted to legalize medical cannabis more than 20 years ago, you wouldn’t know it on the Central Coast, which has mostly banned the industry and forced people like me to seek out our medicine (and business opportunities) from the big cities. Meanwhile, the whole region has opened its doors to busloads of drunks coming up Highway 101 from LA. Why not take the cannabis dollars too? I swear to you, we stoners are a lot easier to be around than your standard wino.

While Fink’s concerns are based on fearmongering and “what ifs,” I personally know that Garcia and the Lompoc Valley Cannabis Coalition are not just “bong-hitting babies.” Garcia is fighting for his father, who used cannabis in his recovery from terminal cancer. I am using it to avoid more dangerous drugs to treat my Crohn’s. Every time I come home, friends and family bring me their friends and family with cancer, autoimmune disorders, or other chronic or terminal illnesses who are looking for safe access and information. We have turned a blind eye to the sick long enough.

I implore both Ron Fink and Mayor Bob Lingl to reach out to me at angelabacca@gmail.com. I would love to drop facts in front of each of your fears.

Angela Bacca lives in Portland, Oregon, and grew up in Lompoc and the Central Coast. Send your thoughts to letters@santamariasun.com.










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