Glenn A. Walp: Marijuana legalization a concern

On April 24 the Rose Law Group sponsored a breakfast at its law office in Scottsdale for Pinal County supervisors Todd House and Anthony Smith.
The group spokesperson released a written announcement concerning the breakfast that stated: “Rose Law Group has always supported District 4 Supervisor Anthony Smith and District 5 Supervisor Todd House as they have such a business-friendly balanced approach to governance. We…are so happy to have them as county supervisors….While there is no cost to attend (the breakfast), if you feel inclined to contribute to their campaigns as we do (Todd House campaign donation – 2014, $1,000), contributions are limited to $2,500 per individual.”
In February, the Rose Law Group argued for the approval of eight outdoor marijuana grow areas and approximately 10 marijuana dispensaries in Pinal County. Supervisors House and Smith voted to approve a change to a zoning ordinance that can bring about the open-grow farms, even though the Pinal County Planning and Zoning Commission voted 9-1 against the ordinance change, and the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office and multiple citizens groups and individuals also strongly voiced their opinions not to approve the firm’s effort. According to news reports, Supervisors Smith and House labeled this open-grow marijuana effort as the “grand experiment.”
The associated nuances of the Rose Law Group-sponsored breakfast and the critical political issues now facing Pinal County are, at least to me – a taxpayer and Pinal County citizen – bothersome.
For the record, I am opposed to the legalization of marijuana, as I am equally opposed to the recent raising of Pinal County property taxes.
There are those who suggest that legalization of marijuana will lower property taxes and perhaps that is true, but I doubt it. I propose however, that the connective costs to Pinal County taxpayers as a result of the negative effects – especially on our youth – of the legalization of marijuana will be, ultimately, colossal in both financial and societal perspectives.
Glenn A. Walp
Gold Canyon

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