Alex Merkle: Marijuana a short-term cash grab | TheUnion.com

Alex Merkle: Marijuana a short-term cash grab

The first non-native peoples came to the American West to trap and shoot their way through the rich populations of wildlife for fur sales, until they ran out of land when they hit the Pacific.

Their successors dug ore out of the mountains until the easy mining had been done, the rivers were choked with tailings and the pits oozed toxic effluent.

Their children cut down the timber stands until the only trees left were so difficult to access that it would be unprofitable.

Then their progeny harvested fish out of the rivers and near shores until the stocks were annihilated and on the brink of collapse.

Now our rural western communities are trying to promote the next ephemeral economic "salvation" of large scale marijuana "agriculture" in our fragile, drought ravaged and exhausted foothills. This short-lived cash grab will come at the long term expense of devastated ground water supplies, top soil disturbance, pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer runoff and exponential increase in human caused wildland fires.

Leave commercial marijuana production to the Central Valley where existing infrastructure is built to sustain, water, harvest and transport commercial agriculture.

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Our community deserves better than this short-sighted, short-term cash grab that will come at the expense of our children's future health and environment.

Alex Merkle

Nevada City