The City Council of Fortuna has not allowed cannabis businesses within the city limits. The Chamber of Commerce, however, recently allowed a cannabis-related business to join it.

Eighteen-year-olds voted to allow 21-year-old people to smoke marijuana. Doctors tell us brains are not mature until age 26. They also tell us that cannabis can adversely affect the developing brains.

Colorado has the longest experience with marijuana. Recent reports say doctors there have examined newborn babies of marijuana using mothers and found the brains of the newborns to be 10 percent smaller than normal babies. Horrible, outrageous!

I live on the south side of Fortuna. This past Halloween I had the pleasure of two hundred and thirty some trick or treaters come to my door. I could hear parents in the background coaching their little ones to say, “Thank you.” Halloween is a pleasure here. Fortuna is a very child friendly town. Our City Council and the residents like it that way. That is why marijuana is not sold within our city limits.

I served on the Humboldt County Human Rights Commission for four years. The things I learned about marijuana growers shocked me. They are sometimes linked to human trafficking. From Southern Humboldt I heard about vigilantism and female trimmers required to work topless.

In Willow Creek we heard about female employees having to provide sex to their bosses. Growers run generators all night with lights and smells often polluting streams and rivers with their fertilizers. You have heard this before. Some say being a trimmer may be your last job and you may never be seen again.

Fortuna already has plenty of marijuana growing in people’s backyards. The police chief can tell you that. I met a man at an event in Fortuna who told me all three of his neighbors grow marijuana and it hangs over his fences into his backyard. He didn’t say if he had children, but children are the real issue. We have five public schools and a couple of charter schools. Marijuana can destroy children. That is why we support our excellent City Council’s efforts to keep marijuana businesses out of Fortuna.

Richard Leamon resides in Fortuna.

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