Pubdate: Wed, 22 Jul 2009
Source: Red Bluff Daily News (CA)
Copyright: 2009 Red Bluff Daily News
Author: Geoff Johnson, Staff Writer


Tensions over a proposal to regulate medical cannabis continued
Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors meeting when Supervisors Bob
Williams and Greg Avilla were appointed to an ad hoc committee to
study the matter.

Once the matter has been studied, which could take months, a new
ordinance may be considered by the board.

Medical marijuana advocates and growers have been contacting the board
ever since Williams proposed limiting gardens to 25 plants in
unincorporated areas of the county and prohibiting gardens from being
established within 1,000 feet of bus stops, churches or schools. The
ordinance would have required growers to register with the county,
erect six-foot fences and install alarm systems.

A weakened version of the ordinance, increasing the number of plants
to 30 and lifting the requirement of an alarm system for gardens with
12 or fewer plants, was voted down last week.

Despite the support of the Tehama County Department of Education and a
number of residents citing safety concerns, Supervisors said the
matter should have gone through an ad hoc committee instead of being
drafted by Williams alone, who based the ordinance on a similar
proposal in Mendocino County.

Marijuana advocates dominated the public comment period with personal
stories or research backing the use of medical marijuana, a
conversation that turned hostile as speakers ran over their allotted
time or interrupted the board, demanding more time or accusing the
county of trying to overrule state law.

As Supervisor George Russell tried to direct comments away from the
board and to the ad hoc committee, several speakers began a new push
for a county dispensary or dispensaries.

We need a distribution center, grower Donna Will said. We need a place
where if you have too much, you can drop it off, and these people down
south can come and pay Tehama County taxes and pick it up.

Ken Prather, whose wife uses medical marijuana for Hunter Syndrome,
created a 13-page sample ordinance for the county to use as a basis
for licensing dispensaries and managing personal medical marijuana

That won't be happening anytime soon if Sheriff Clay Parker has his

I'll do everything in my power to make sure there is not a dispensary,
Parker said in a telephone interview.

Parker cited a portion of an August 2008 letter from Attorney General
Jerry Brown, which states California recognizes only cooperatives and
collectives, not the kind of storefront dispensaries that have opened
since Prop. 215 allowed the use of medical cannabis.

If such a dispensary were to be built in Tehama County, Parker said he
would contact federal authorities.

Comments and letters to the marijuana ordinance ad hoc committee
should be sent to 727 Oak St. More information is available at 527-4655. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr