Findings from the Sheriff’s Annual Crime Report were published in last week’s CVN (“Crime rates are down,” Vol. 25, No. 27). Takeaway: crime has gone down across the board. Also, last week, the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce hosted its State of the Community Luncheon, at which Dr. Mark Schniepp of California Economic Forecast reported on the economic wellness of Carpinteria. He indicated that property values have continued to climb. It’s now $1.2 million for a single-family home.

So, crime has gone down, and property values have increased. This begs a question: Has the cannabis boogeyman lost it power? According to those opposed to cannabis, property values have plummeted and crime has surged. That’s the very opposite of the facts.

Schniepp also reported on the top employers in the valley. Procore led the way with 850 employees (bravo). The number of employees in the cannabis industry doesn’t get ranked because jobs are spread over several employers. In just the CARP Growers association, member farms have over 600 employees, which would potentially make cannabis the second largest employer in Carpinteria Valley. That’s a big part of the local workforce.

Cannabis has not caused a crime wave or lowered property values, but it is part of a healthy economy. There are a lot of holes in the arguments of those opposed to cannabis farming. I don’t discount people’s passions, but has the time come to heal the divide and invite anti-cannabis activists back to reality and back to a healthy and happy community?

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