Hypocrisy in complaint about pot dispensary ad

In response to Craig and Doni Bruland’s letter chastising the newspaper for allowing an advertisement for the dispensary in Sumpter, I want to say, “thank you.” Thank you for opening this topic for discussion because it has been a long time coming. Finally, we can address the hypocrisy of this community’s demonization of drugs — except alcohol.

Baker City is steeped in the tradition of supporting alcohol consumption. There is an establishment on nearly every block downtown that sells alcohol: bars, growler filling stations, a distillery, and stores that offer wine tasting. The Chamber of Commerce, Baker County Economic Development, and Baker County Tourism all promote events that feature alcohol. Some examples include: Baker City Downtown’s “wine walk;” beer gardens at every event in the summer — now including a “beer corral” at the Baker County Fair; and the upcoming fundraiser for our drug-detecting K-9 is advertising a social hour “with a bar hosted by Barley Brown’s.”

Shall we talk about the hypocrisy of having a fundraising event for a drug-detecting dog that supports the consumption of alcohol? How about having a “beer corral” at a fair full of kids? Have people forgotten that alcohol is a drug or are people only interested in picking and choosing which drugs are deemed “appropriate” for promotion?

Fact: Alcohol is a dangerous drug. According to the World Health Organization, “alcohol is the leading cause of death and disability for young males aged 15-24 in nearly every region of the world, and among young females in high-income countries.” So, why then is it acceptable to have alcohol served and supported all over town, including fairs and drug-dog fundraisers but it is not acceptable for a newspaper — that I suspect most children who believe in Santa do not read — to feature an ad for a store that sells legal cannabis?

The Baker City Herald and the Sumpter dispensary have no reason to be ashamed. If anyone should be ashamed, it should be those that find it acceptable to market alcohol consumption while stating that they support a drug-free community, because that is blatant hypocrisy.

Tonya Dias

Baker City