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Statement from Camden Cares Re: Libel in the Camden Herald

June 10, 2023


Earlier this week the Camden Herald, after giving Camden Cares specific instructions to “stick just to the issues” and not engage in personal attacks in our final article “because someone cannot respond to the last one before the election” – gave free reign to Botany founders Mark Benjamin and Ari Meil to publish an attack-laden letter of their own.


Their letter stated that our community-funded nonprofit has “mounted an un-neighborly campaign of misinformation and moral panic” and of “defamation, intimidation, and ugly name-calling.” More alarmingly, they further suggested that our campaign has been marked by “racist and classist overtones.” 


They have been consistent in disseminating this disturbing and inaccurate portrayal, while all along hurling insulting, defamatory and at times dangerously inciteful rhetoric towards us and anyone else in the community who has dared to publicly voice opposition to pot shops in Camden. 


We are responding now because we feel you deserve to hear from us. Because sometimes silence can be taken as an admission. And because we don’t have any time or space left to respond to these libelous statements.


Opposition is healthy and to be expected in the democratic process. Unfortunately, in this day-and-age, political campaigns far too often devolve into the type of rhetoric we’ve witnessed these past few weeks, even in a small town like Camden. 


Thank you for your support, and for hanging in there and taking the high road with us. It has been an honor and privilege to be of service to this great town we all love and call home. 


Have a great weekend, and we urge you one last time to vote NO to Articles 3 and 4 on Tuesday. There are enough pot shops in Knox County already. We don’t need any more in Camden.




The Board of Directors @ Camden Cares 

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