Letter: Support for High Valley Farms | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Support for High Valley Farms

I am in favor of continuing operation of High Valley Farms.

As a Pitkin County resident who commutes to the midvalley several times a week, I am well aware that there have been odors emanating largely form Jordan Lewis’ grow facility. If I were a neighbor, I would find them objectionable and am very sympathetic to their concerns.

Marijuana cultivation at an agricultural scale requires new technology, and it is not surprising that certain challenges have been incurred. It appears to me that Lewis has aggressively, responsibly and now successfully addressed those challenges.

The legalization of marijuana has been overwhelmingly approved by our state and every community in this valley. I believe that its cultivation is consistent with our agricultural past and our need for economic diversity and in its medicinal value and recreational acceptability. I also like its contribution to our taxes and the opportunity to reduce the number of innocents in our jails and reduce expensive, distracting burdens on our law enforcement and judicial system.

Furthermore, I believe this is our Napa moment. Increasingly, marijuana culture in not unlike the wine culture of Northern California. Lewis’s facility is handsome, sophisticated architecture. I believe he’s an honorable entrepreneur that can make a significant, positive impact on our local culture and economy.

I lived for two years next to a dairy farm in a vital, growing community in western Massachusetts with an agricultural past and present. At times the odors were extreme, but at the end of the day I knew it was inappropriate to complain. Marijuana is every bit as legal as mother’s milk. Change and working together to mitigate the impacts of change are the essence of a democratic community. Let’s turn down the vitriol and move forward as a community.

Michael Lipkin