About the Colony

Atascadero’s ban on marijuana, celebration of wine is a double standard

Winemaker Ed Bracamonte of Clautiere Vineyard pours his award-winning 2011 syrah at the Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival in June 2015.
Winemaker Ed Bracamonte of Clautiere Vineyard pours his award-winning 2011 syrah at the Atascadero Lakeside Wine Festival in June 2015. ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

Don’t allow marijuana sales here.

I see that the Atascadero City Council voted unanimously to ban all marijuana cultivation in the city and to continue its ban on both dispensaries and deliveries of the drug.

I’m fine with that.

What bothers me, however, is that same council would jump up and down for joy and welcome a new wine-tasting room in the city. You’d see ribbon-cuttings featuring all of the council members and Chamber of Commerce folks.

I’ve never tasted or smoked marijuana, nor have I ever tasted wine.

Of course, alcohol is legal and marijuana is not. What disturbs me is the abhorrence by society that welcomes the booze and not the pot.

I see them being equal. I’ve lived with the devastation both can cause.

I’ve written in the past that there are too many outlets for booze. You can buy alcohol at the local theater if you’re 21, and I see that Starbucks is seeking permission to serve booze in the evening in certain markets.

The California Mid-State Fair has pretty much ensured that you can’t walk more than 300 feet between booths selling beer or wine.

What kind of message are we sending to our children who see that there’s nothing wrong with drugs, only that some are legal and some are not.

Television and movies make drinking seem like fun. The local TV station loves to show up at local bars on St. Patrick’s Day and show college kids swilling green beer.

At the Golden Globe Awards held a few weeks ago, the show’s host, Ricky Gervais, was not only rude and crude, but he found it necessary to have a glass of beer in his hand or on the podium each time he made an appearance.

I know about the “great experiment” when we attempted to make alcohol illegal. Prohibition pretty much proved positive that you can’t take the booze away from the people without them going berserk. They’ll make their own in the bathtub if they have to.

I’ve heard the argument that marijuana is a “gateway” drug that leads to addiction to more dangerous substances.

I will be watching the newest experiment within the United States on the legalization of marijuana in a number of states.

Lon Allan’s column is special to The Tribune. He has lived in Atascadero for nearly five decades and his column appears every week. Reach Allan at 466-8529 or leallan@tcsn.net.

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