Pubdate: Sun, 06 Jun 2004
Source: Auburn Journal (CA)
Copyright: 2004 Gold Country Media
Author: Erin Gallup-Main, Journal Staff Writer
Bookmark: (Kubby, Steve)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


Police Chief Nick Willick said he doesn't want a medical marijuana
distributor near Auburn schools, churches or neighborhoods.

But that could happen.

That's why he prepared a draft ordinance for the City Council to
review at the first of two public hearings at 6 p.m. June 14 at City

"We don't have anybody knocking on the door  " Willick said. "Since
voters voted for this (Proposition 215) and Legislature passed the law
(Senate Bill 420), I want to give as much protection to the citizens
as possible. If one of these businesses were to open up in Auburn, we
want to have as many safeguards as the law allows, in place."

The police chief said he is proposing an ordinance that would require
medical marijuana dispensers to not only comply with business zones
and health and safe codes, but limit hours of operation. The police
department plans to conduct background checks on all employees working
at the nonprofit businesses.

Willick said distributors would not be allowed 1,000 feet from
churches, schools and residential areas. And if a business applicant
disagrees with the chief's assessment of a background check, they can

Placer County's most famous medical marijuana advocate, Steve Kubby,
said he is working on clearing his name from his three-year home of
Canada after a 1999 Sheriff's Department raid on his Olympic Valley
home. That resulted in a felony conviction for possession of mescaline
in a peyote button and a misdemeanor for possession of a magic
mushroom in 2001. Convictions for marijuana possession were dropped.

The former Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate described
Auburn-area law officials as "zero-tolerance bigots" on Friday and
said Willick's draft of the ordinance would only hinder the ill's
ability to medicate themselves.

"None of this will stop people who want to smoke pot from smoking it,"
said the adrenal cancer patient as he lit up a joint. "But it will
stop the sick people who have a bona fide use for it."

Kubby said if he returned to Auburn, he would be arrested and put in
jail with no access to the drug that controls his blood pressure. He
said that would kill him.

"(Placer County law enforcement) don't believe in medical marijuana,"
Kubby said. "They think everyone involved in it is a criminal."

But new Colfax medical marijuana store owners, Jim Henry and Cheryle
Riendeau, said they've had good experiences with law officials in
Placer County, compared to Nevada County.

Nevada County District Attorney Michael Ferguson said it's his job to
prosecute those not following the law. Ferguson said the law does not
allow for the sale of marijuana -- only its growth by patients doctors
have prescribed the medicine to.

"The law isn't clear, but in my opinion (opening a business is)
illegal," he said Friday.

Placer County Undersheriff Steve D'Arcy agreed that the law is

"I think there'll be more litigation regarding whether cities can ban
stores or not in the civil process," D'Arcy said. "(Elected officials)
can make regulations so difficult that it's too expensive to operate
in your jurisdiction."

He said his main concern of the store in Colfax and another in
Roseville, is safety.

"Just like a pharmacy, they have drugs that some people in our
community would forcefully take, so I've talked to the owners of the
(Colfax) business about security issues," D'Arcy said.

Auburn resident Adam Parham said he appreciates work that results in
medical marijuana distributors. The 44-year-old said a doctor
prescribed marijuana for his mother when she had cancer.

"It made her feel better and kept her from (throwing up) when she was
on chemotherapy," he said. "She didn't abuse it or get addicted to

However, 19-year-old Auburn resident T.J. Smith said marijuana is not

"It counteracts with (patients') medicine they're using," Smith said.
"It shouldn't be legal anyway." 
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