Pubdate: Tue, 23 Dec 2008
Source: Arcata Eye (CA)
Copyright: 2008 Arcata Eye
Author: Jason Browne
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)
Bookmark: (Decrim/Legalization)


Your [medical cannabis] ordinance does not address ways of
distinguishing between direct access gardens, where cannabis is grown
for specific patients, and gardens that have paperwork on the wall
but really just sell the cannabis. It also does nothing to ensure
that gardeners who take advantage of patients or forge documents are
punished. It certainly does nothing to reduce the price of cannabis

In regards to fire safety, you could have just stipulated that
gardens must either comply with the load-capacity of the existing
electrical output of the building, or that they modify the building,
according to codes, to accommodate larger usage. Limiting the 
amounts of cannabis that patients may grow is in direct conflict with
California's Health and Safety Code, the Guidelines of our Attorney
General's Office, and with more than one high court ruling. It's also
mean spirited to punish qualified patients for the actions of
black-market growers!

The stipulation that prevents your local dispensaries from procuring
cannabis at various locations is also in conflict with our Attorney
General's guidelines. Collectives and Cooperatives are SUPPOSED to
receive all their cannabis from within their membership, just as
they may only dispense cannabis to their members.

In addition, your square footage and wattage limitations for both
individual and collective indoor cultivation of cannabis will both
limit the amount that any patient may cultivate to well below the
amount that most patients require, and it will limit the number of 
patients that may live within Arcata (assuming they receive their
medicine here as well).

I do this math all the time in court, and I can tell you that your
assumptions about yields are NOT founded in science or cultivation
experience (but they are rather well-suited for shoving back up the
hole you pulled them out of to begin with).

Lastly, I think the implementation of this ordinance is in direct
conflict with Ordinance No. 1276 (Title V, Chapter 10 of the Arcata
Municipal Code). There are multiple conflicts here, but if you read
them both in the same sitting, I'm sure you'll find plenty of them. 
It's ironic, but the people this ordinance will hurt the most are the
patients living here. You are forcing them to choose between buying
from the existing dispensaries (four, then three, then two for the
entire city population), or moving out of town. Because they 
certainly won't be able to grow their own cannabis here anymore. You
didn't even need an ordinance to deal with the black-market growers.
They were always illegal, and could be investigated by law
enforcement any time a neighbor made an anonymous call.

I guess you just can't stand the thought of people growing it cheaply
and legally, in their own homes. After all, most of your businesses
are supported by the black market production of cannabis. I can see
how  allowing patients to have direct access to their cannabis might
threaten the local economy a bit. Or did  you not consider that when
people were promoting this  "solution" to the problems that grow
houses produce?

Is there some reason that law enforcement couldn't  respond to these
obviously illegal operations before  now? They certainly have time to
harass innocent  patients at their leisure. Maybe they just needed 
another reason to ask for more money.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin