Pubdate: Sat, 5 Apr 2008
Source: Daily Triplicate, The (CA)
Copyright: 2008 Western Communications, Inc.
Author: Nicholas Grube, Triplicate staff writer
Cited: Del Norte County Board of Supervisors
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Medicinal)


Pot Growers In Del Norte County Might Take A Hit Tuesday.

The Board of Supervisors will revisit a local medical marijuana 
ordinance and consider drastically lowering the amount of pot that 
can legally be grown or possessed.

Current medical marijuana laws in the county allow a person to have 
up to 99 plants in a 100-square-foot cultivation area and possess up 
to a pound of processed pot. A new ordinance would lower these 
numbers to six plants and four ounces.

"Del Norte County is just out of this world high," District Five 
Supervisor David Finigan said about the current ordinance. "It's time 
to weigh in and correct it."

The Community Action and Prevention Alliance (formerly the Alcohol, 
Tobacco and Other Drug Prevention Coalition) began looking at Del 
Norte County's medical marijuana ordinance in November. Last week the 
group proposed changing the ordinance.

"The glaring issue was that there's excess marijuana on the streets 
and we felt this was the primary source of this marijuana," said 
Randy Bancroft, who is the lead spokesperson for the alliance and 
also the county's prevention coordinator. "We looked at what other 
counties are doing and wanted to be standing with the majority of counties."

Statewide, Del Norte ranks among the most liberal counties when it 
comes to growing medical marijuana, with most counties opting for a 
maximum of six mature plants or 12 immature plants. Humboldt County 
has no limit on the number of plants cultivated so long as the canopy 
doesn't exceed 100 square feet.

Likewise, the amount of processed marijuana a Del Norte patient or 
caregiver can possess--1 pound--is high compared to the rest of the 
state. Most counties only allow 8 ounces. Humboldt County allows 3 pounds.

Detective Sgt. Steve Morris heads the Del Norte County Sheriff's 
Office felony investigations unit that makes periodic compliance 
checks on people who grow medical marijuana. Because of Del Norte's 
favorable conditions for medical marijuana, he said he has noticed an 
influx of prospective pot growers to the area.

"We have made contact with several people who are in compliance with 
the law and they have moved here from outside of the area," Morris 
said. "They state that they have come here because the county they 
came from or the state they came from is much more restrictive than 
Del Norte County."

A majority of the people the sheriff's office checks up on are in 
compliance, Morris said, but he also understands the temptation the 
county's guidelines provide.

"The 99 plants just makes it too inviting to make money from," he 
said, "especially if you don't have a job or if your job is 
low-paying--it's just too inviting."

For Bancroft, Del Norte County's medical marijuana ordinance is 
simply too much.

"We don't want to be known as the best place to grow marijuana in 
California," Bancroft said. "We would like to be known for our 
beaches, our parks, our friendly population, our safe streets and not 
as a drug community."



What: Del Norte County Board of Supervisors meeting

When: 10 a.m. Tuesday 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake