A news report about the cannabis discussion at the last city council meeting called teachers and other representatives from the pre-K-12 I AM School “bullies.”

Such statements are not for a news article; but are opinions meant for the op-ed page. In good journalism, a news article simply states what happened and allows the reader to decide. I was there and cannot understand what words or actions caused that reporter to think of them as bullies.

Please review the video on the city website and show me when the teachers and other representatives of the I AM School officials were bullies. They were respectful towards members of the audience and city officials, even to a cannabis supporter who threatened them just after the council meeting ended.

Notice that Mayor Wagner asked themes not to be repeated; and if we did we would be reminded of it. Pro-cannabis advocates continually repeated vindictive and vitriolic remarks against these teachers using exactly the same words and phrases. They were not reminded as promised; though they repeated many times that the school, which has been in that location for over 20 years, did not belong in a mixed use industrial district. Ironically, commercial cannabis businesses are already allowed by ordinance in residential zones (including in homes) with a conditional use permit.  So any daycare, school—public or private – can now be within 450’ of a commercial cannabis business within a residential zone. Your next-door neighbor can be in the cannabis business, as close as your property line.

Community members from seven different community groups spoke. Yet when they mentioned public health and safety, they were accused by cannabis supporters of lying, fear-mongering, divisive and playing loose with the facts. Why is the school, understandably concerned about their buffer zone as any school would be, blamed for the actions of the six other community groups who also don’t want cannabis over-proliferation? Who were the real bullies?

The safety of the children in the community seemed not to be a concern to most of the council members. To read a more complete letter, visit:

www.mountshastacommunity.org

Tom Tindall

Weed