Eliran Assa

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

Ann Louise Bardach speaks to the Carpinteria Unified School District board.
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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 folks spoke Tuesday evening at the board meeting, most of them outraged that the district accepted the cash 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 cash 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 cash 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 challenges and headaches.

Though the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors has passed regulations to need growers to strengthen odor handle, a lot of 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 also close to schools.

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

Bardach, who has been 1 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 get in touch with it. And it can be a significant drug.”

Jay Hotchner, Carpinteria College District union president, stated the district workers must 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 pick in between a counselor and accepting cannabis dollars.

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

Cannabis did have some help at the meeting. 

“We all know that marijuana will turn into federally legal in just a handful of years,” stated Peter Dugre, representing CARP Growers. “It really is a no-brainer. This post-prohibition globe is 1 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 produced came just after months of discussion with leadership at the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse,” Dugre stated. “I feel the college district is carrying out the finest issue 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 assistance our students navigate the new globe.”

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

Eliran Assa