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hypocrisy |həˈpäkrəsē|

“behavior that contradicts what one claims to believe or feel” (Merriam-Webster)

In the arguments over the last 7 years, with regards to fracking, I have heard about property rights and the need for jobs. I have been told, too many times to remember, that “this is my property and I have a right to do what I want”. As recently as last week, Senate President Mike Miller said, “there are no jobs whatsoever” in Western Maryland.

So legislation in 2014 ended up allowing for growing medical marijuana and processing. In 2016 Grow West was awarded one of the licenses/permits to begin operations in District 1. After much negotiations with county officials, Grow West chose to set up operations at Keyser’s Ridge Business Park. Then due to some license/permit and time constraints, they sought an alternative location, which is located outside of the town limits of Accident.

Immediately, Facebook lit up following a post Delegate Beitzel shared from a Cumberland Times News article with his comment, “I’m sure I speak for most of my constituency when I say, we do NOT want a medical cannabis growing facility located in our town. I wholeheartedly agree with the residents and am writing to express my opposition to locating this facility in Accident. Grow West, I encourage you to withhold any such permit to put a facility in the midst of this rural community and my home town.”

Now understand that, “Grow West is expected to employ 40 people initially with above-minimum-wage jobs and benefits available.”

I support economic development that is sustainable and does not impact the environment. I also respect the Rule of Law. If Delegate Beitzel doesn’t want this legal business operation that is governed by Maryland Law, then I would suggest opening up discussions in Garrett County to allow for protective zoning. Without zoning, Grow West is entitled to claim their right to do what they want with their land, following the lead of Delegate Beitzel who wants to freely frack his land.

Finally, Delegate Beitzel does not qualify his, or his “constituents” objections to the growing facility. Any apprehension would pale in comparison to fracking which he fully supports. Gas drilling would impact not just Accident residents he asserts to be protecting, but the entire county. His rights or interests seem to come first, regardless of the issue or the law.

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