I would like to let the public know I am personally opposed to the production, sale, and use of recreational marijuana.

I have been working with the drug-addicted for many years both in Eureka and in Seattle, where I previously ran an in-patient facility for those affected by addiction and mental health issues. I believe there is a direct correlation between the very difficult issues we face as a community in regard to crime, homelessness, and addiction and the prevalence of recreational marijuana in Humboldt County.

In the Eureka City Council meeting on October 3, 2017, I approved the regulation recommendations of the staff regarding the retail sales of medical and recreational marijuana in the city of Eureka because we are now at a point of determining regulation rather than legalization. Regulation has to do with what is best for our city in light of the new laws voted on by citizens regarding this subject.

My decision was based on that reality more than my personal preference regarding regulation in the city of Eureka, as well as the need to put in regulations before the State of California implements broader ones on January 1, 2018.

Heidi Messner is a lead pastor at Faith Center and currently serves on the Eureka City Council.