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I think we can all agree that the one group of people that should not be smoking pot and getting high are young people, especially those below the age of 18.

The very same group that have shown over the years that they will go to great lengths to get prohibited or illegal stuff.

As kids growing up in Southern California, we not only knew where the avocado tree was but also knew when the avocados were going to be ripe and then we would raid that tree, much to the dismay of the poor homeowner who we were stealing from. It was much like a military operation; we were serious about liberating those avocados. I am not proud of the fact that I was stealing those avocados, but that was what we were doing.

Right now there is an organization trying to get you to sign their initiative to grant a legal right to grow pot in Napa. Please don't sign it. There is not enough security in this world to stop determined kids from stealing those mature buds off of those pot plants.

Grapes are different. Grapes are not a finished product but a raw material that has to be processed to make wine, and wine grapes are just not that tasty. But pot is a finished product. Each plant will have hundreds if not thousands of dollars of sell-able product on them and those enterprising 14-16 year olds can steal it and then smoke it or sell it. It will happen and that is why we cannot allow there to be open grow in Napa County, and I would argue, for the entire country.

Imagine what the wine industry would be like if finished bottles of $150 a bottle wine was hanging on the vines instead of grapes. We would not have beautiful vineyards and gorgeous views. We would have Trump-like walls and guard dogs with robotic drones hovering over the vineyards. Not a very appealing vision of a tourist destination.

Yes, we have legalized marijuana for personal use in California, but we have not thought this through as to how we keep it away from the most vulnerable population, our youth. Our youth who have to now navigate another legal addictive product, as they grow up. Let people who want to grow pot, keep it in doors, grow it in their bathtubs as my cousin in Montreal does with his tomato plants.

Indoor, protected grow for personal use, yes, fine. But open grow should be prohibited for a very good, important reason. Our youth will go to great lengths to steal free product and smoke or sell it. Kids will get injured in the process. We have to say no to open grow of pot.

So when the person trying to get you to sign their "farmers rights initiative" asks you, just say "no, this is a bad idea," nip this one in the bud.

(I am calling pot that form of marijuana that has THC for the purpose of getting high. There are other products from cannabis that do not have THC and that is not addressed here.)

Jay Gardner

Napa

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