Skip to main content

Voice of our Readers Jan. 19, 2023

Wipf: Business owner grateful for public process on THC regulation
To the Editor:
I’m writing to express my gratitude for the positive interactions we experienced with city and county officials during the process of making legal cannabis available to community members.
•I felt very supported by Jane at the Chamber. She put me in contact with the county commissioners, gave me a platform to present to other business owners, and attended the commissioners’ meeting when I spoke.
•County Administrator Kyle Oldre has been nothing but kind and receptive and always addressed my concerns. He was good at balancing access with his main priority and responsibility of keeping the county safe. He always replied to my numerous emails … even when I’m sure I was a thorn in his side.
•Commissioner Sherri Thompson came to me directly to listen to my objections over the THC moratorium and kept true to her word that the commissioners were not trying to get cannabis out of the area … They just wanted to make sure they understood the risks to benefits involved before writing the ordinance. She answered multiple texts, was always very factual and professional.
•County commissioners as a whole were attentive and asked really insightful questions. This showed me that they were not just putting on a show about deliberating. They wanted to know more about cannabis to make the best decisions they could. They were fun and put me at ease while I was presenting.
•I could tell Mayor Pat Baustian wasn’t excited about a recreational cannabis (as opposed to medical marijuana) in Luverne, but I have nothing but respect for how he handled his concerns (about potentially unsafe gummies).
He listened to my counter arguments that they’re safe (if) from reputable businesses with lab results for their products and that medical cannabis access in the cities is often inaccessible for our most vulnerable neighbors. 
He quickly understood how important this is for some community members, especially veterans with mental illness (I had shared a story about my brother) and that if we were going to have true local access, then he would work hard with the county to create a local ordinance. He kept his word and led the city to dropping the moratorium.
The outcome of all these thoughtful conversations and decisions has ultimately resulted in a pathway to cannabis that’s now both legal and safe.
We are fortunate to live in a community with thoughtful and progressive leaders willing to work on behalf of everyone.
Jennifer Wipf,
Rock River Apothecary,
Serie: 'Please treat everyone kindly'
To the editor:
I was comforted Monday, because I still believe in good, honorable and heroic people. In honor of Martin Luther King Day, this message from Dr. Heather Cox Richardson was my inspiration:
You hear sometimes that, now that we know the sordid details of the lives of some of our leading figures, America has no heroes left.
When I was writing a book about the Wounded Knee Massacre, where heroism was pretty thin on the ground, I gave that a lot of thought. And I came to believe that heroism is neither being perfect, nor doing something spectacular. In fact, it’s just the opposite: it’s regular, flawed human beings, choosing to put others before themselves, even at great cost, even if no one will ever know, even as they realize the walls might be closing in around them.
It means sitting down the night before D-Day and writing a letter praising the troops and taking all the blame for the next day’s failure upon yourself, in case things went wrong, as General Dwight D. Eisenhower did.
It means writing in your diary that you “still believe that people are really good at heart,” even while you are hiding in an attic from the men who are soon going to kill you, as Anne Frank did.
It means signing your name to the bottom of the Declaration of Independence in bold print, even though you know you are signing your own death warrant should the British capture you, as John Hancock did.
It means defending your people’s right to practice a religion you don’t share, even though you know you are becoming a dangerously visible target, as Sitting Bull did.
Sometimes it just means sitting down, even when you are told to stand up, as Rosa Parks did.
None of those people woke up one morning and said to themselves that they were about to do something heroic. It’s just that, when they had to, they did what was right.
On April 3, 1968, the night before the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated by a white supremacist, he gave a speech in support of sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee.
Since 1966, King had tried to broaden the Civil Rights Movement for racial equality into a larger movement for economic justice. He joined the sanitation workers in Memphis, who were on strike after years of bad pay and such dangerous conditions that two men had been crushed to death in garbage compactors.
After his friend Ralph Abernathy introduced him to the crowd, King had something to say about heroes: “As I listened to Ralph Abernathy and his eloquent and generous introduction and then thought about myself, I wondered who he was talking about.”
Dr. King told the audience that, if God had let him choose any era in which to live, he would have chosen the one in which he had landed. “Now, that’s a strange statement to make,” King went on, “because the world is all messed up. The nation is sick. Trouble is in the land; confusion all around. … But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough, can you see the stars.” Dr. King said that he felt blessed to live in an era when people had finally woken up and were working together for freedom and economic justice.
He knew he was in danger as he worked for a racially and economically just America.
“I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter… because I've been to the mountaintop…. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. … But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!”
People are wrong to say that we have no heroes left.
Just as they have always been, they are all around us, choosing to do the right thing, no matter what.
Please treat everyone kindly and do not assume only the negative from our fellow Americans, or from those who may be different or a minority. 
None of us know what is in their heart nor have we walked in their shoes. Reach out a hand instead, maybe learn something new, and become a hero.  
Carol Serie,

You must log in to continue reading. Log in or subscribe today.