A fresh perspective: Tahoe’s talk of cannabis begins | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Back to: Opinion

A fresh perspective: Tahoe’s talk of cannabis begins

Two things are very clear to me after last week's Tahoe Town Hall on recreational cannabis: there are more questions than answers, and the importance of cannabis was made evident by the 100 people in the room and 316 more watching live online.

Recreational cannabis may be legal in California and Nevada, but its future in our community is hidden in the smoke. During the Tahoe Town Hall questions were raised about taxes, allowing and banning retail sales, law enforcement, tourism, health, and the economy. The panel of speakers did not always have a straight-forward answer either. Colorado-based lawyer Jon Hoistad emphasized that his state is still trying to figure things out but urged our community to be open minded about the possibilities that come with welcoming cannabis businesses.

This is a very divisive topic that the community still has to figure out and decide what it wants. Local jurisdictions have control to regulate the sale for recreational cannabis and other related businesses.

It is up to our elected officials and local jurisdictions to educate themselves about the law, impacts and community desires around the use, manufacturing and sale of cannabis. There could be a great economic benefit and added tourism, but at what cost to our community's health and safety? This is not an easy question to answer.

It is up to our elected officials and local jurisdictions to educate themselves about the law, impacts and community desires around the use, manufacturing and sale of cannabis. There could be a great economic benefit and added tourism, but at what cost to our community’s health and safety? This is not an easy question to answer.

The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors has hired a consultant to help bring light to this issue. There will be a presentation about cannabis at the May 9 supervisors meeting. I urge the City Council and county supervisors to continue an open dialogue with the community and ask for our input before making any decisions regarding cannabis.

The Tahoe Regional Young Professionals host Tahoe Town Hall as a free event for the community to learn about important issues and hear from the community. We will not always agree with each other but we need to have that conversation to move the community forward. We chose the topic of recreational cannabis because of the many impacts it could have on our community and because we did not feel that the community was having a real conversation about it.

Major decisions will not be made until the end of this year but we need to keep the conversation going now. By talking we can work through the different concerns about cannabis and make the right decision when it is time.

If you missed this event you can find the video on http://www.tahoetryp.org. Follow us on Facebook to get the latest updates around adult use cannabis in our community.

Devin Middlebrook is the executive director for the Tahoe Regional Young Professionals. For comments, questions or more information on how to get involved, please email Devin at dcmiddlebrook@gmail.com or visit http://www.TahoeTryp.org.