I dedicated my career to teaching and coaching here in Santa Barbara. Education is the best investment we can make in our community, and I am horrified by what is happening at our Carpinteria schools.
At Carpinteria High School and Canalino Elementary School, strong cannabis fumes waft into classrooms and onto playing fields from commercial cannabis grows. Teachers and children are being exposed to cannabis VOCs (a class of chemicals linked to respiratory health issues) and nauseating odors that distract from the educational environment. The New York Times reported that students at Carpinteria High have headaches from the byproducts of cannabis grown near the school.
I am shocked that 1st District Supervisor Das Williams has put greenhouses and growers ahead of our schools and children. Young people should not be experimental subjects for greenhouse pot grows with ineffective air filtration and harmful odor-masking chemicals. The county’s 600-foot buffer around sensitive receptors is clearly ineffective. This formula must be revised. Cannabis VOCs and odors travel substantial distances, further compounded by inversion weather patterns that trap air between the mountains and sea.
The county is now starting to hand out land-use permits to many of the very growers poisoning our children’s air. Rest assured, this is not just a Carpinteria issue. It is a broader threat to the most sacred institutions in our community. We must protect our children.