Letter to Editor: Dispensaries are inevitable

Sonoma Index-Tribune

Our letter to Sonoma Index-Tribune, condemnation of Jon Early and more:

EDITOR: The Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group (SVCG) strongly condemns the malicious behavior of Jon Early toward Sonoma City Councilman David Cook (“Bullseye Email Raises Alarm at City Hall,” Aug. 7). We cannot stress more firmly that any level of threats or harassment of public officials or citizens is not only out of line, but ultimately counter-productive.

Mr. Early is not an honorable representative of the cannabis industry and its honest, hardworking entrepreneurs and advocates. By his actions, he has also abrogated his right to represent the citizens of Sonoma and the Valley on all cannabis-related matters.

The SVCG leadership never supported Mr. Early’s initiative and advised its members and others to forego signing his petition. Many in our group are familiar with numerous questions regarding his past business practices both within and outside of the cannabis industry.

Mr. Early successfully circulated his petition to put his cannabis measure on the November 2018 ballot. Unfortunately, this poorly conceived ordinance took most control away from the city council, prompting the majority to delay putting the measure on the ballot until 2020. Reportedly, Mr. Early was “gob smacked” by the decision. That Mr. Early believed he was blind-sided shows he had little sense of what motivates the city council, nor did those who advised him.

Gary Edwards, David Cook and Mayor Madolyn Agrimonti have always voted against permitting a dispensary in Sonoma and there was no reason they would vote any differently this time. Meanwhile, council members Amy Harrington and Rachel Hundley continued to support a dispensary, but remained the minority.

Councilmember Hundley made great effort to fashion a competing ordinance that would have been a better fit for the city. The majority of the council should have accepted it, but instead continued to cling to each other in their backward-thinking certainties. Let’s be clear. The three council members can’t keep avoiding the inevitable. Eventually, there will be a dispensary in this fair city and the “jewel” that is Sonoma will shine just as bright.

The Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group has worked tirelessly over the past year to persuade the city council of the need for a local medicinal dispensary, to no avail. We now turn our focus to helping elect new council members who understand the issue and will enact Councilmember Hundley’s ordinance.

Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group

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