Letters to the Editor

Pot at K2 would be bad for Vashon for a variety of reasons

As the owner of property adjoining the K2 site and a 20-year member of the Vashon community, I strongly oppose situating a marijuana factory there. While I support marijuana legalization and participated in efforts to find a use for the K2 facility, marijuana production is not the solution.

First, such an operation would have dubious legality. Large-scale marijuana production remains a federal felony subject to a 10-year prison term. Although the Obama administration wisely decided not to enforce federal marijuana laws in Washington, a Christie or Rubio administration would exercise no such restraint. A legitimate business could become the target of federal enforcement with a single executive decree.

Second, a marijuana factory at K2 could threaten public safety. Large-scale marijuana production creates a highly valuable, compact and fungible commodity. The factory and its transportation corridors could become a target for robbery and theft. Vashon has just two sheriff’s deputies to patrol on an island the size of Manhattan with no backup. This is inadequate to protect such a lucrative and vulnerable enterprise.

Third, a marijuana factory at K2 would devastate neighboring property values and undercut Vashon’s image as a family-friendly community.

Significantly, all other proposed King County locations for marijuana production are industrial. For the same reason that strip clubs are separated from neighborhoods, locating a marijuana factory a half-mile from Chautauqua Elementary is problematic. The area around K2 is steadily improving with a new performing arts center, businesses and residences. This progress would be reversed with a marijuana factory in the neighborhood.

This issue should not become a sounding board to debate marijuana use or evaluate the dubious wisdom of our national drug policies. Rather, we should engage in a dispassionate analysis of whether or not Vashon would be well-served by a marijuana factory in our midst.

— Matt Bergman

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the Oct 26
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates