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Opinion survey results from pot forum

On Friday, the Redwood Times received an email from Liz Davidson summarizing the results of the opinion survey taken at the “What’s After Pot?” forum at the Mateel Community Center on Tuesday.

On the question of whether or not legalization will improve the economy, the majority of participants felt that legalization will hurt the economy. Those identifying themselves as organic outdoor growers felt that they didn’t know what the impact would be; property owners thought it might help the economy and the “just curious” crowd were divided between no improvement in the economy and don’t know.

Participants were also asked to identify the strengths of their communities. Those identifying themselves as from “non-profits” thought commitment to community, ability to disseminate information, to develop alternative economic models, a proven track record of creating community infrastructure and organizational skills were the best things the area has going for it.

Those identified as business interests chose “branding,” organizing, quality control, education, knowledge of tax structures and “ability to create certification process” as the chief strengths.

The Education group thought their chief strength is the ability to help with the transition to a new economy by educating youth on the abuses of pot and other options for making a living. Their counterparts in the Arts named marketing and graphic design as their chief strengths. Those identified as Property Owners thought they had an ability to create jobs.

Dedication to environmental quality, a good product, and good treatment of workers were the strengths named by those identified as Organic Outdoor Growers. The Medical Patients and Growers group said the 215 law and tax dollars were their strengths. The Health Care group offered skills for education, the Government group its help with appellation and certification ala the wine industry model, as well as land use policies, research funding and support for creating legitimate businesses.

Finally, the Just Curious crowd thought their long residency, land ownership, open minds and experience were the best things they had to offer.

When it came to identifying weaknesses, the Non-profits chose “underfunded and overextended,” the Business group “fear of success and fear of being associated with the illegal.” The Arts group also thought fear thinking and planning was the chief weakness.

The Outdoor growers thought increasing water usage was the chief weakness, the Medical Marijuana users group said it was not organized and doesn’t get representation from elected officials. The Property Owner group thought the price fluctuations of pot and property was a weakness. The Health Care group identified reliance on a cash economy and lack of health coverage as the chief weakness.

Threats were seen coming from Big Business, Big Advertising, Corporate Takeover and confusion as people try to find a new focus. Land use codes, permits and regulations were also seen as threats to the future of the industry.

Assets identified by the participants included KMUD, the Mateel, a beautiful area that attracts tourism, creativity, good dirt, good ideas, and the Humboldt brand.

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