Cannabis farm gets preferential treatment
We are having an issue in our neighborhood of a business wanting to start a cannabis farm in our backyard (literally).
It is also within 300 feet of a church, and our whole neighborhood is against it. Valencia County zoning seems to be jumping through hoops to get this grow started and pushed through.
I’ll give you an example: “Section V location from valencia county ordinance; 5.1 No cannabis establishment, cannabis consumption area, or cannabis courier may be located within 300 feet of a school or day care center, church or religious assembly. For purpose of this section, all measurements for the purpose of determining the location shall be the shortest direct line measurement between the actual limits of the real property of the school or daycare center, church or religious assembly.”
The way all of our neighbors and all my research reads this is, property line to property line, Valencia County (zoning employees) has stated to us that it is the church boundary line to the first row of plants. It’s hard for us to fathom how that would be translated from 5.1 location statement.
It seems us residents are not in the best interest of the county.
Keep stories alive
As I write this, millions of Jews worldwide are pausing to observe Yom Ha’Shoah, the Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust.
We remember the six million Jews who were victims of Nazi hate. We also remember millions of others who were deemed “undesirable” by Nazi ideology and systematically and ruthlessly killed: people with physical and mental disabilities, gay and lesbian people, gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses and so many others. Since the first observance of the Shoah, we have stated “Le’Olam Lo!” “Never Again!”
Unfortunately, we are seeing hate and intolerance which are the foundations of fascism rising again, and in our own country. Once again, the subjects of this hate are Jews.
But now, Muslims, LGBTQ people (especially transgendered people), people of Asian descent, and even women have become the focus of hate, discrimination, oppression and violence.
This time around fascism is masking behind conservative politics and “Christian Nationalism” — a false claim that the United States is a “Christian” nation founded for “Christians,” and any others are at best tolerated or at worst seen as “undesirables” to be controlled or eradicated.
The new fascism is being presented in pulpits and over conservative media misusing terms like “patriotism” and “family values.” Any reading of American history will show clearly that our founders had no intentions of founding a theocracy.
The founders were staunch deists who believed in rationalism and that living a life of compassion and justice was more important than doctrine. Thomas Jefferson even wrote his own version of the Bible, which deleted most references to the supernatural focusing instead on the Bible’s humanistic lessons and stories.
By Christian Nationalism’s standards, many of the founders like Ben Franklin, James Madison and others would be considered atheists.
A statement from the 1930s, often attributed to Sinclair Lewis, is now eerily prophetic: When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross. The survivors of the Nazi hate are now sadly very old and many are passing away.
It is for us who remain to keep their names and stories alive. Even more importantly, it is for us who remain to name the evils of fascism and hate when we see it and to educate our young about the horrors of fascism, hate and intolerance.
Not just on one day, but as is so clear today, we must every day declare “Le’Olam Altishkach” “Never forget!” “Le’Olam Lo” “Never again!”
Ron Lahti, M. Div.
The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.