Thu, Jan. 23

Editorial: Camp Verde stand on marijuana grow houses truly is reefer madness

The Cottonwood medical marijuana grow house on West Cherry Street.

The Cottonwood medical marijuana grow house on West Cherry Street.

The big to-do about the location of medical marijuana grow facilities in Camp Verde has nothing to do with personal beliefs about marijuana.

It has everything to do about openness and transparency with your local government.

Camp Verde town officials have kept the location of existing and proposed marijuana grow houses under wraps. In other words, they have taken the position that the location of these legal and legitimate business operations are nobody's business. Most importantly, they've taken the position that it's not the business of the people who own property near these facilities to know they have neighbors who are growing marijuana.

All of which can put a real crimp on your ability as a property owner to challenge the propriety and legality of what your neighbor does on his property. It's hard to make a fuss about something when the government refuses to let you know what is going on in the first place.

In Cottonwood, for example, when the community's marijuana grow house was first being considered at a facility on West Cherry Street, a member of a nearby church asked how the permit allowing the facility would be affected if the church was to open a day care center for children. Good question. Fair question. The man was able to ask the question because the city government in Cottonwood made sure everyone in town knew what was being proposed in their community.

Likewise, because the Cottonwood grow house borders residential property to the north, those residents had the chance to hear about, and question, what their new neighbors were planning to do with the property.

In the end, there wasn't much of a fuss made about the Cottonwood operation. It has become a part of the community and everyone in the neighborhood is being neighborly.

As evidenced Wednesday night in Camp Verde, there is a fuss about medical marijuana facilities in that town. It's not so much an issue about the legality or propriety of marijuana growing in their community as it is about the town government providing this industry a protection of secrecy not given to any other business or industry that exists in the town.

It's about fair play.

It's about transparency.

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