CARPINTERIA, Calif. - Like cannabis, the controversy surrounding the plant continues to grow in Carpinteria.
That latest debate is over a large grower donation and a photo op of educators posing inside a greenhouse.
Cannabis critic Anne Bardach spoke directly to the school superintendent at the meeting.
"Superintendent Rigby people keep asking me, I get phone calls, I get emails everybody wants to know what would have prompted our school superintendent and the principals from three schools to go and don the outfits and the hats of a marijuana farm as if advertising or flaking for this particular facility or product? I mean how else can one explain taking $189,000 from pot growers to use for what a drug and mental health counselor," said Bardach who says he can often smell cannabis from her home.
But some people applauded the district's plan to spend the money on a middle school counselor from the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.
Leighanne Anderson said she is a parent of a middle school student.
"Tonight we are listening to opposition of those who don’t have kids in the district. We are parents, and we are here to say thank you growers.”
Parents Lisa Willis agrees.
“I know we need this money we come to a lot of school board meetings where they have to cut teachers.“
People also disagree on the unintended consequences, such as odor or property values. Anderson said she has seen prices go up as she looks to buy a home. Others are considering selling because of the grows.
People on both sides of the issue say this could impact their votes in the upcoming election.