When Del. Neil Parrott hits the campaign trail, his message is clear: Elect me and Washington County will see an influx of jobs.
The reality, of course, has been somewhat different. Parrott has spent his time in office doing battle with immigrant scholarships, trying to police the states bathrooms, and working on other hot-button issues that are politically popular but in the end, as North Carolina has found out, do more to destroy jobs than create them.
We do not share Parrotts concerns that the countys burgeoning medical marijuana industry will drive us to destruction. Last week the state awarded licenses to companies across the state – including two in Washington County – that will process and/or grow marijuana for medical use. As Washington County Commissioner LeRoy Myers says, we believe this is good news for the county, particularly Hancock, where more than 100 new jobs will be created.
We do believe Parrott is right about one thing: We havent heard the last of the marijuana debate in Maryland. There will be those in Maryland who want to join the growing trend toward legalization of pot for recreational use.
But this is an argument for another day. A company that produces marijuana for medical use is no different than a company that produces Xanax or Lipitor, and Parrotts contention that this will have Colorado coming to Maryland is misguided.
Parrott worries about what kind of message the marijuana enterprise will send to our young people. But if our young people could send a message to Parrott, we suspect it would be this: If you are that worried about drugs, please devote your time and energy to the far more serious problem of opioids, instead of trying to interfere in an industry that can actually deliver on a promise that has been broken far too often in this county – the creation of jobs.