We are a Coalition of individuals and groups in Santa Barbara County. We’re focused on the Carpinteria area because of the proliferation of marijuana cultivation in close proximity to schools and residences. We urge reconsideration of your decision to accept $189,000 from marijuana growers. We object to the decision and use of public funds for your administrators to visit a marijuana cultivation facility.

We were shocked by the photo of your superintendent and principals posing in a marijuana cultivation factory—smiling and wearing growers’ hats. We expect our school principals to behave as leaders and set an example for children and community.

School policies include BP 5131.6, “The Governing Board believes that the use of alcohol or other drugs adversely affects a student’s ability to achieve academic success, is physically and emotionally harmful, and has serious social and legal consequences,” and BP 3290, “Before accepting (a gift or grant) … ensure… (it) does not: Promote the use of ... drugs, tobacco or alcohol or the violation of any law or district policy. Imply endorsement of any business or product or unduly commercialize or politicize the school environment.”

The school’s actions contradict those policies. “Greenwashing” describes oil companies donating money to “clean energy” efforts to change their image and obscure the fact that they created the problem. The current situation is greenwashing by the cannabis industry.

We agree school counselors are valuable and we note that you received revenue of over $29 million for 2019. We urge you to find a way to fund such a position. Marijuana growers are, of course, free to donate as individuals to any nonprofit organization.

The school board needs to reconsider their vote and decline to accept the money from CARP Growers to salvage some credibility for the board and district.

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