I am writing in opposition to the proposed City of Hanford ordinance amendment which would allow cultivation, manufacture, and distribution of adult use (recreational) marijuana in our industrial park. The Council will consider (and likely vote) on the matter on Tuesday, April 3rd.
When the medical marijuana ordinance was debated last summer, I concluded that the City Council felt politically safe in passing it because of the perception that the public believed the many promises that the ordinance would be strictly limited to the production and distribution of marijuana for medical purposes only – and that none of the marijuana would be diverted to the recreational market.
The medical argument disappears with the proposed amendment. And, as we all know, recreational marijuana is an entirely different subject in Hanford.
Consider this comparison: Suppose the City issued a permit for a company to manufacture uranium on the promise that it would be used only for the production of nuclear power outside of Kings County. Then, after the permit was issued, the company executives tell the City that they just learned that there is no market for nuclear power, and they want the City to allow the uranium to be used to produce nuclear bombs for foreign export.
While the use of the uranium for nuclear power may have been barely acceptable to the local voters, it is likely that there would be an immediate recall of any City Council member who voted to permit the uranium to be used to make nuclear bombs for foreign export.
If the City allows production of recreational marijuana, it is doing so against the will of the nearly 60 percent of Hanford voters who so resolutely rejected the notion of legalizing its recreational use under Prop 64. Let’s not forget, the Council knew about your majority vote against Prop 64 when it approved the medical marijuana ordinance in July 2017.
Although Council members are not legally bound by past promises, they are, in my opinion – and I believe in the opinion of the 60 percent – morally bound to honor their commitment. That would mean that the City Council must reject the proposed recreational marijuana amendment at its meeting on Tuesday, April 3rd.
It is time to move past the big money promises made by outsiders; let’s face it, we have now learned to question their trustworthiness. Instead, it is time for all members of the City Council to honor their promises to the citizens of Hanford – the people who, in good faith, elected them. If so doing means that the marijuana industry is never established in Hanford, so be it. Our community will succeed just fine without it.
If you agree, it is very important that you attend the City Council meeting at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, April 3rd to voice your opinion. Even if you don’t wish to speak, your attendance will help illustrate our opposition.
Steven C. Robinson