My family has lived off Foothill Road for 40-plus years. Much has changed since 1976, some good, some bad and some just interesting. We are now sharing the hood with pot growers, a new industry that has taken root in California, an industry presenting exciting growth potentials for our city, county and state coffers. As a rural dweller, I’m quite familiar with the smells lofting from neighboring ranches. They have always run the gamut from horse manure to dueling skunks to freshly tilled fertilizer. We can now add the scent of freshly growing marijuana to that list—a scent that actually smells better than any of the former items listed.

As with any industry, there’s always an “opportunity cost,” always something that we must give up to get something else. Carpinteria is in a very unique position to leverage this industry’s offerings to our greatest and best use. So, how do we find an agreeable position that invites their philanthropic, road maintenance and traffic-control dollars into our community? Carpinterians have always had the unique ability to take opposing positions and find workable, common ground, and I encourage the community to do the same here.

As a child who has watched her parents suffer horribly and witnessed the sickening ramifications pharmaceutical drugs had on their bodies, I was/am beyond grateful that the marijuana industry provides organic and pleasant alternatives from the usual Rx prescriptions. Pot helps to ease the suffering, both physically and mentally for billions of people around the world. We are fortunate to have a climate conducive for growing such a beneficial crop. I applaud those growers and will continue to support this industry in my backyard 100 percent.

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