Former agriculture commissioner has island fever | Bohemian


Tony Linegar retired as Sonoma’s agricultural commissioner in early 2020. He now lives with his wife, Krista, in Oahu, although he keeps a close watch on Northern California and keeps in touch with alumni. colleagues. The citizens of Sonoma adore Linegar.

Do not mistake yourself. He appreciates the clean air of Oahu, the beautiful beaches and the cosmopolitan life of Honolulu. Still, he would love to serve as a consultant on cannabis, which has been a hot topic since graduating with a BSc in Biological Sciences from Chico State in 1993, and then throughout his career as an agricultural inspector and more. late as Mendocino’s Agriculture Commissioner from 2001 to 2012.

“People say, ‘Tony’s in Hawaii and more here,’ but I still have a lot of skin in the game,” Linegar tells me. “Our cannabis policy means a lot to me. I will encourage the county to update.

Since leaving his office, he has worked as a consultant on land use issues in Sonoma County. He reads the local media, has dozens of friends on Facebook and rightly points out, “Where we are physically doesn’t really matter anymore. We can zoom, send emails and do Facetime.

With the recent departure of Nikki Borrocal as the head of the county’s cannabis program, and with Andrew Smith, the new agricultural commissioner, up to his ears in essential tasks, Sonoma County needs Tony Linegar more than ever. as an advocate for cannabis.

“There is so much going on at the same time: fires, smoke and ash, which impact potted crops, as well as the safety of farm workers at risk, as well as heavy losses in the industry. grape industry, ”he said. ” There is a lot to do. “

No one knows the needs of the county better than Linegar. No one has a calmer head and no one else is saying it the way it is.

“From what I can see from Oahu, the county has been overwhelmed with one disaster after another,” he says. “Officials at various agencies are doing their best to mitigate, but they are exhausted and crucial issues, like cannabis, are on the back burner. “

Linegar points out that neither vineyards nor outdoor cannabis farms have sparked recent wildfires, although he questions indoor growing that uses electricity, especially in remote rural areas. .

“Cannabis is not flammable,” he says. “Potted farms, like vineyards, can function as buffer zones. He adds, “Some of the complaints about the narrow dirt roads are a way to throw a wrench in the cannabis industry.”

Jonah Raskin is the author of “Marijuanaland: Dispatches of an American War”.

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