Pubdate: Tue, 25 May 2010
Source: Corning Observer (Corning, CA)
Copyright: 2010 Freedom Communications
Author: Julie R. Johnson


Latrines are on site, a logistical map sketched out,  grass mowed and
security is in place.

What more could Donna Will and Jerry Doran need to hold  their World
Hemp Expo in Tehama County this weekend?

How about a county-issued special events permit?

"I don't care if the county issues me a permit or not,  this event is
taking place," Will said on Monday.

And to all appearances it seems she is right.

On Tuesday afternoon, Tehama County Director of  Planning George
Robson contacted Will to inform her the  county had approved her
permit - with conditions.

Those include the hours of the event take place between  11 a.m. and 9
p.m. Friday through Sunday; a security  plan including a California
licensed security guard on  duty for each 250 attendees upon Tehama
County  Sheriff's Department approval; and an updated site  plan.

Now only time will tell if Will can meet those  conditions.

In the meantime, dozens of volunteers scattered across  the 46-acre
piece of property at 22116 Riverside Ave.,  continue to prepare for
the three-day event which is  scheduled to take place starting Friday.

Even Steve Hager, of High Times magazine, has arrived  from New York
City to help organize and move things  along.

The hemp and cannabis expo is scheduled to feature a  world marijuana
film festival, primitive camping,  vendors booths, live bands, prayer
circle, games,  seminars and food.

Will likes to compare the event to Woodstock and is  promoting it as
"an opportunity to bring a  counterculture event to North State

Will and Doran said they applied for a special event  application with
the county in March.

Since that time, the county's Board of Supervisors  adopted an urgency
ordinance updating and amending the  codes pertaining to such event in
an effort to regulate  special events on private and public land that
have the  potential to create special impacts that seriously  affect
the public's safety, health and welfare.

"The county has placed every hoop it could think of for  me to jump
through," Will said. "I have jumped through  everyone and now I'm
waiting to see what's next."

But Will has not been detoured by the requirements of  the ordinance
or the conditions.

She said her comrades have built a custom-made oven to  bake bread and
pizza at the site, organized where  people will be parking, camping,
eating, where the  music stage will be built, where the film festival
will  take place and where "section 215" will be set up.

The "section 215" Will is referring to relates to the  state's
compassionate act medical marijuana proposition  that passed in 1996.

"I think the '215 section' will be by the stage so  people there will
feel like VIPs," Will said.

Tehama County Sheriff Clay Parker said he met with Will  on May 17 and
discussed some of his concerns and plans.

"I told her the Sheriff's Department would be searching  all the
people attending the event before they entered  the site for weapons,
illegal drugs and alcohol. Once  clear, they can go on in, and once on
the inside, they  are on their own," Parker said.

"I'm more concerned about the people of Tehama County,  and our
community, and the impact this could have on  them than that what goes
on at the event."

He plans on stationing a command post vehicle at the  intersection of
Highway 99W and Riverside Avenue  starting on Thursday, and having at
least two men on  duty at all times until the event is closed.

"I personally will walk through the event site several  times each
day," Parker said.

He said if Will holds the expo without meeting the  conditions of the
county permit she could be fined.

According to Will, if that takes place, she will file a  lawsuit
against the county. 
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MAP posted-by: Jo-D