Carpinteria Unified College District accepted $189,000 from growers to fund a drug and mental-overall health counselor

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Ann Louise Bardach, a journalist and critic of the proliferation of cannabis farming in the Carpinteria Valley, speaks to the Carpinteria Unified College District board Tuesday evening. ‘We have a higher college,” she stated. ‘It is referred to as Carpinteria Higher College. It is not referred to as Cannabis Higher.’ (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

The Carpinteria Unified College District board is below fire, with a group of residents calling for the district to return a $189,000 donation from the cannabis group CARP Growers. 

About a dozen people today spoke Tuesday evening at the board meeting, most of them outraged that the district accepted the funds to fund a middle college drug and mental-overall health counselor for 3 years.

The residents are also angry that many CUSD administrators appeared in a photo touring a pot greenhouse owned by Glasshouse Farms in Carpinteria. They referred to as for the district to return the funds and distance itself from cannabis

“We have a higher college,” stated Ann Louise Bardach, a journalist and critic of the proliferation of cannabis farming in the Carpinteria Valley. “It is referred to as Carpinteria Higher College. It is not referred to as Cannabis Higher.”

The college board formally accepted the funds at its Aug. 27 meeting, in a four-1 vote, with only board member Rogelio Delgado voting in opposition.

There was no formal vote Tuesday evening on the matter. 

Cannabis has emerged as divisive situation in the Carpinteria Valley in current years. Lots of residents have complained about the odor from cannabis farms, and recommended that it causes chest pains, breathing difficulties and headaches.

Though the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors has passed regulations to call for growers to strengthen odor handle, numerous residents nonetheless complain that the smell is unbearable and unhealthful.

The cannabis controversy has loomed more than 1st District Supervisor Das Williams, who accepted $16,500 in donations from members of CARP Growers.

Williams now faces a challenge for his county seat from Santa Barbara Unified College District board member Laura Capps, who says that the cannabis farms are as well close to schools.

Lots of of the people today who are upset with Williams spoke out at Tuesday night’s meeting. 

Bardach, who has been one particular of Williams’ most vocal critics, said the district is promoting out to cannabis

“It appears like the CARP growers are operating a complete-service operation these days,” Bardach stated. “1st they sell you the drugs, then they get an individual to repair it. I am right here to inform you that marijuana is a drug. Cannabis is a drug. Weed is a drug. What ever you want to contact it. And it can be a really serious drug.”

Jay Hotchner, Carpinteria College District union president, stated the district workers need to not get involved in supporting cannabis in their official administrative roles. Poor fiscal management, Hotchner stated, has place the district in a position that forces residents to opt for involving a counselor and accepting cannabis dollars.

“Whilst district leadership continues to reduce staffing to the level of dysfunction across the district, they are simultaneously pursuing much less than transparent funding and employment choices to fill the gaping holes they have made,” Hotchner stated. 

Cannabis did have some help at the meeting. 

“We all know that marijuana will grow to be federally legal in just a handful of years,” stated Peter Dugre, representing CARP Growers. “It is a no-brainer. This post-prohibition planet is one particular that we are all adjusting to.”

Dugre stated he is a father and neighborhood volunteer, and believes the donation to the district will have a constructive outcome.

“The donation that we created came immediately after months of discussion with leadership at the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse,” Dugre stated. “I believe the college district is performing the very best factor by its students by funding this position, and to have leaders educate themselves by taking tours of a cannabis farm and to be equipped to assist our students navigate the new planet.”

— Noozhawk employees writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript need to be enabled to view this e mail address). Adhere to Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.