Photo of Superintendent and principals in cannabis greenhouse sparks controversy in Carpinteria

Photo of educators in cannabis greenhouse sparks concern

CARPINTERIA, Calif. - A photo in Coastal View News is adding to the cannabis controversy in Carpinteria.

Cannabis entrepreneur Graham Farrar said he took the photo of the Carpinteria School Superintendent and 4 principals wearing his company's Glass House Farms hats and visitors shirts inside a former flower greenhouse that now grows cannabis.

Critics of the photo and the industry linked to off and on smells near local schools plan to take their complaints to the Carpinteria School Board meeting on Tuesday.

Greg Gandrud lives in Carpinteria and represents Fair Education Santa Barbara.

He says the photo shows poor judgement.

 "It sends a really bad message to the children in our district when they see school officials posing in a field of marijuana and at the same time they are being told not to use marijuana."

Cannabis growers have pledged $189,000 for a middle school counselor.

Gandrud was told by the district that they would hire a councilor from the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse known as CADA.

Some people would rather the school use its own funds to hire a staff counselor.

Resident Rhonda Richey said "What's ironic is that they are donating money for counselors when there might be these young people that are tempted to use things that they are not mature enough to handle."

Grower Graham Farrar disagrees. 

"If anybody thinks it is ironic, I think it is actually fitting, it is exactly what we need, right, so we as a state decided we want legal regulated cannabis for adults and part of the upside of that is we can educate kids on the safe and responsible way to have that in our society," said Farrar.

He said the industry is overcoming its stigma and paying taxes to the county and contributing to the community.

The results could have repercussion in upcoming  elections.

Tuesday's Carpinteria School Board meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.

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