Pubdate: Wed, 27 Jun 2012
Source: Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA)
Copyright: 2012 The Press Democrat
Author: Glenda Anderson


Hundreds of rankled medical marijuana proponents flooded a Lake 
County Board of Supervisors' meeting Tuesday, creating a logjam at 
the Lakeport courthouse security station and delaying a pot-ordinance 
hearing until July.

The board had intended to take up an emergency ordinance that would 
restrict the number of medical pot plants that patients can grow on 
lots of under a half acre to three mature female plants. Up to six 
mature plants could be grown on larger parcels under the proposed ordinance.

Pot proponents said the amounts are absurdly low and aimed at 
eliminating all medical marijuana cultivation in the county.

"They're trying to evict all of us," said a man who identified 
himself as Riversong.

The crowd cheered when they learned the hearing was rescheduled for a 
larger venue. The hearing will be held July 9 in the fairgrounds' 
theater in Lakeport.

About 300 people attempted to attend the hearing Tuesday. It was 
scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. but more than 100 people remained in 
a line outside the courthouse 45 minutes after that, delayed by 
security screening. The board chambers is located inside the courthouse.

The atmosphere outside the courthouse was festive prior to the 
announcement. Friends greeted each other with hugs and chatted as a 
guitarist strummed and a woman sang. Pizzas were delivered and distributed.

"It's a great turnout," said John Brosnan, president of the Lake 
County Green Farmers Association. His group sponsored an unsuccessful 
June ballot measure that would have allowed up to 84 plants to be 
grown on properties of seven acres or more. It also was responsible 
for a referendum that forced the Board of Supervisors to abandon its 
previous marijuana ordinance, which was more liberal that the current proposal.

The failed ballot measure, which also would have extended farming 
protections to marijuana growers, received 34 percent of the vote. 
The turnout in Lake County was a dismal 28 percent.

Several people in line on Tuesday admitted they had not voted in the 
June primary.

The ordinance now being proposed is serving as a wake-up call for the 
non-voters, said Riversong. "It's finally got the people fired up 
enough to get involved," he said.

Since the measure's defeat, county officials and medical marijuana 
growers have been working on an ordinance together. The urgency 
ordinance is being proposed as an interim measure.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom