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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

Topic: farming

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June 26, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Skagit Valley berry farm: Limiting housing hurts many low-wage pickers

I am confused by the actions of Skagit Valley berry grower Sakuma Brothers Farms regarding farmworker housing [“Sakuma Brothers berry growers to pay $850,000 settlement,” Local News, June 12]. Newspaper reports credit Steve Sakuma saying that they began offering housing for farmworker families three generations ago as incentive for berry pickers to work…


Comments | More in Agriculture | Topics: berries, farming, Paul Booker

May 12, 2014 at 7:04 AM

Marijuana farming: a legal agricultural commodity; don’t use precious water resources

Move toward marijuana as a legal agricultural commodity

Our federal government continues to treat marijuana like Kryptonite [“Bureau of Reclamation should not restrict water to Eastern Washington marijuana farms,” Opinion, May 4]. They are not alone.

Washington state’s rollout of marijuana legalization has been hampered by a similar mindset. One day marijuana will be fully legal nationwide and there will be no suburban basement grows with massive carbon footprints. Environmentally destructive backcountry grows would become a thing of the past. These are vestiges of marijuana prohibition.

One day legitimate farmers will produce marijuana by the ton under natural sunlight. It will be virtually worthless. This is important. Financial incentives drive destructive cultivation practices. Mexican drug cartels don’t sneak into national forests to cultivate cucumbers and tomatoes.

They cannot compete with farmers. The sooner the federal government allows states to treat the marijuana plant as a legal agricultural commodity, the better.

Robert Sharpe, policy analyst at the Common Sense for Drug Policy, Washington, D.C.

Don’t divert precious water resources to marijuana

Insane. That’s what thinking about allocating already precious supplies of water from farmers growing our food supply to


Comments | More in Marijuana | Topics: Common Sense for Drug Policy, farming, marijuana

June 19, 2013 at 8:30 PM

Genetically modified wheat scare

A dire harbinger of things to come I disagree with Glen Squires’ position that the discovery of unauthorized genetically modified (GM) wheat in Oregon is merely an isolated “glitch.” [“Guest column: Industry will survive wheat ‘crisis,’” Opinion, June 13.]Rather, this is a dire harbinger of things to come — GM wheat crops soaked in the…


Comments | More in Environment | Topics: farm, farmer, farming