Lebanon residents are independent thinkers.
They don't appreciate being told what to do or what to think.
They work hard, they play hard and at the end of the day, they do love their town.
They may hate the condition of the roads, but this column isn't about that, though it is about a road: a road to perdition.
What is perdition?
In the Christian religion, it is defined as a state of eternal punishment you experience after death if you were a sinner who did not repent.
In layman's terms, it's like hell.
And that is what Lebanon is looking at if it allows our selectboard to turn Democracy on its heels and ram down revote after revote until we vote the way they they want us to.
That's right. At the July 17 public hearing, Selectmen Chair Chuck Russell said the same two questions would be back on the ballot in November if residents didn't vote to allow medical and recreational retail marijuana businesses at the special Aug. 3 vote.
So like anything else in this town it comes down to money.
Marijuana is making some people very rich. The allure is real.
The profit motive is strong, apparently stronger than any sense of wanting to have a town we can be proud of.
Honestly, do you see the string of retail marijuana shops on Route 202 and feel proud of your town?
It's degrading the attractiveness of our town to enrich a handful of entities, from growers to retailers.
Marijuana brings in money, and money brings in corruption. Corruption leads to crime.
Can a full-time police force be far behind?
Russell, who admits to being a cannabis consultant while selectman, has been voting all along in furtherance of his rush to embrace retail marijuana shops.
This is the height of brazen corruption inside our town government.
Perhaps that is why he is facing a second recall.
Is there any way his involvement in the cannabis industry reflects anything but morally corrupt behavior.
Is there anyone out there who would seek to justify his involvement while selectboard chair?
That would be a tough sell, since it's a direct violation of the town's ethics policy.
Now they are trying to use the threat of possible legal action from current retail store owners to bully us into voting the way they want us to, but Selectman James Dupuis admitted last month that the threat of legal action by these folks is not a foregone conclusion, it's merely "informed speculation."
In fact, at the July 17 public hearing only one retail cannabis operator was outspokenly implying they might be considering a lawsuit. Only one.
You think the selectboard is corrupt now?
It'll be corruption 2.0 if retail sales are allowed and the money begins to flow.
More corruption. More crime.
Just vote no on these two questions:
Referendum 1: Shall an ordiance entitled "Lebanon Adult Use Marijuana Business Ordinance (as revised June 12, 2021)" be enacted.
Referendum 3: Shall an ordinance entitled "Lebanon Medical Marijuana Business Ordinance (revised June 12, 2021) be enacted?
No meant no on June 8, and it will mean no on Aug. 3.
Stand up for Lebanon. Vote NO on Questions 1 and 3.