Cove unified on issue of drugs

October 30, 2013 08:43 am

I read the article “Residents spar over medical pot grow” in The Observer in disbelief. The cobbled together comments that made up this article not only gave a false impression of my personal thoughts on the medical marijuana topic, but also misinterpreted what the disagreement was about and falsely implied a division in the community of Cove. 

Being a fifth generation Cove resident, I believe that our small community of Cove is unified on the issue of drug abuse and we are more than capable of handling our own business without misleading reports from newspapers or lies from paranoid parties.

The conflict, or “spar,” that was referred to in The Observer’s headline, occurred when the McLucas family decided to accuse their neighbor’s of operating a distribution level marijuana grow in their backyard. They had a notice printed in the Nickel, alerting everyone to a supposed 200-plant operation, and claimed that the growers were poisoning their hybrid wolves, and themselves, with pesticides and chemicals used in this fictional operation. This same couple decided to make a public complaint to the city council, in which they told stories about their neighbor’s activities in order to try to rid the neighborhood of this supposed pot grow.

It was not mentioned in The Observer’s article that the McLucas’ accused their neighbors of being convicted felons, poisoning the neighbors with chemicals, firing weapons in city limits, illegally distributing controlled substances or that the Union County Sheriff’s Office was supposedly in cahoots with this illegal drug operation. 

The McLucas’ also claimed to have their own marijuana growers card and threatened to grow pot in their front lawn, threatened to sue the city of Cove and claimed to have done their homework not only on the illegal operation their neighbors were supposedly involved in, but in their neighbor’s background and details of their illegal operation.

Now, if the McLucas’, or The Observer, had actually done their homework, or better yet, if they had been neighborly and introduced themselves to the family in question, they would have realized the same thing I discovered during my visit with them. 

The greenhouse in their backyard contains a total of two marijuana plants for which they have valid medical cards. I did express my personal distaste and shared with them my thoughts about pot, and my issue with the abuse I have personally seen in the medical system with it and other prescribed drugs.

The family understood my issues and agreed that the system was somewhat flawed. They also told me of the injury that drove them to an extreme need for pain relief, and they reassured me that they do not distribute to anyone. They even educated me to the fact that each growers card allows that person to grow only six plants. During my tour, I learned that everything they grow is 100 percent organic and they were proud of the fact that they used no harmful chemicals.

I guess, if there is a lesson to be learned here, it is simply that this is not the big city, this is little old Cove, Ore. We are a little bit country here. We still wave to people as we pass them, and for the most part we talk to our neighbors. Everyone knows everyone’s name around here. You can still see tractors driving down the middle of the road and we have deer trot down the middle of the football field during the Friday night game. 

While we may not all be friends, we are all neighbors. In Cove, we stand together and we stand true. I urge you to come by and visit our little town. We have no mass marijuana grows and no high crime rates in our little town. We are a bit slower here. We have the most beautiful sunsets in the world. We have the best steakhouse and burger stand in the county, and we are friendly to everyone. 

So be neighborly and come say hi.


My Voice

Chris Haefer, 39, is a business professional in Union County.

My Voice columns should be 500 to 700 words. Submissions should include a portrait-type photograph of the author. Authors also should include their full name, age, occupation and relevant organizational memberships. 

We edit submissions for brevity, grammar, taste and legal reasons. We reject those published elsewhere.

Send columns to La Grande Observer, 1406 Fifth St., La Grande, Ore., 97850, fax them to 541-963-7804 or email them to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Editor’s Note: View the story “Residents spar over medical pot grow” online at
medical-pot-grow. To hear complete audio of the city council meeting, go to