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Carpinteria school district facing criticism for accepting cannabis group donation

Posted at 6:23 PM, Sep 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-12 00:22:02-04

The Carpinteria Unified School District has accepted a $189,000 donation from local cannabis growers group.

The Cannabis Association for Responsible Producers, also known as 'CARP Growers' says they donated the money in order to help fund a middle school drug and mental health counselor for the next three years.

The group, which is made up of 12 members who pay annual fees, says they believe there is a greater outcome that can come from these kinds of donations.

"A lot of the kids in town, their parents work on cannabis farms, so maybe they'll have a conversation with their counselor on what that means for them and what their relationship with cannabis looks like as a young person," said Peter Dugre, the group's spokesperson.

According to CARP, this is not the first donation they've made to the school district, but it is the largest.

The union president of the CUSD, Jay Hotchner, says the union will be surveying its members over the course of the next week in order to better understand where district employees stand on the issue.

However, Anne Louise Bardach, a Carpinteria resident and journalist, opposes the donation due to what she considers a "slippery slope."

"Everybody in the resistance here, as far as I know, voted for legalization. Legalization does not mean we are pushing drugs inside the school," Bardach said.