Why does the Fair Board allow multiple guns shows but not marijuana-related events?

Why does the Fair Board allow multiple guns shows but not marijuana-related events?
This Jan. 1 file photo shows marijuana plants for sale at Harborside marijuana dispensary in Oakland. (Mathew Sumner / AP)

The article regarding the Orange County Fair Board’s 7-0 decision to ban pot-related events at the fairgrounds leaves me with great relief (“O.C. Fair Board to ban marijuana-related events at Costa Mesa fairgrounds”)!

It’s good to know that the board members raised concerns with how such events might affect nearby properties or conflict with their “mission.”


What is the mission? I am a little confused by what board member Ashleigh Aitken said: “Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should do something. And I don’t feel that this is part ... of how we’re trying to present ourselves to not just the Costa Mesa community but the larger community.”

The article continues to point out that the decision of whether to permit cannabis events is up to individual fairgrounds. The California Department of Food and Agriculture has outlined some general recommendations. Medical marijuana use areas cannot be within 1,000 feet of such facilities, according to the department’s guidelines, and it is illegal to smoke or use cannabis within that distance of a school or youth recreational area while children are present.


Another consideration is the surrounding community’s feeling about cannabis. Wasn’t this issue voted on and resolved by popular in vote in 2016? Is the O.C. Fair Board aware that in this instance there is no electoral college, and the popular vote represents the majority of the people?

The question is how comfortable did the nearby homeowners, schools, recreational areas, day care centers, senior facilities, etc., feel about the recent, two-day gun show? Or how comfortable and safe do they feel about the additional two-day guns shows scheduled by the Crossroads of the West at the Orange County fairgrounds this year?

There is little doubt that any cannabis event would involve debate, dialogue, study and research with professionals from many fields into cannabis, including the positive pain relief, healing, restoration, etc., that has only been touched on and/or acknowledged. There is so much to be explored.

With the many nearby universities and knowledgeable scientists, researchers, etc., available, who knows what could be learned and accomplished? I urge the board to be affirmative, realistic and optimistic. Allow for a cannabis event (or events) at the fairgrounds. It wouldn’t interfere with the six separate gun shows totaling 12 days, which I’m sure are financially profitable for the fairgrounds.

Not only could a cannabis event result in a financial positive, but could very well lower the deaths involved with prescription pain drugs.

Kicking the can down the road is not useful. This is an issue that is not going to go away. If all views are heard impartiality, without foregone conclusions and involving professionals who have been studying this issue for years, perhaps a better understanding would facilitate a more-positive result in this vote.

Carolyn Fitz-Gibbon

Newport Beach

Activists sometimes overlook property rights

I would like to speak to the issue of private property rights and remind Newport Beach activists that they are a cornerstone of our republic. When government erodes property rights you get Cuba.

Development opponents unnecessarily demonize developers and anyone who supports development, including City Council members who support private property rights.

For the record, I am a 50-year resident, believe private property rights are good and support quality development. After all, respect for private property rights allowed a “developer” to build houses in one of Southern California’s most desirable communities, where families flourish.

In the last 20 years Newport’s population has increased a paltry 6,000 (8%), all from the annexation and build-out of Newport Coast.

Newport Coast is a magnificent addition to our city that shores up our tax base with beautiful homes and amenities.

Quality development creates the value that results in property taxes that pay for our police, fire, parks, streets, and all those services they crave. But opponents can say, they’ve got theirs, no one else is allowed.

I will gladly continue to support City Council members who respect private property rights and quality development.

Bob McCaffrey

Volunteer chairman, Residents for Reform

Balboa Island