Pubdate: Wed, 08 Oct 2014
Source: Record Searchlight (Redding, CA)
Copyright: 2014 Record Searchlight
Author: Clay Duda
Referenced: Measure A:
Bookmark: (Marijuana - California)


REDDING, California - The American Civil Liberties Union has taken a
stance against Shasta County's Measure A, a local ordinance that - if
approved by voters - would ban outdoor marijuana cultivation in
unincorporated areas of the county and place additional restrictions
on indoor gardens.

The ACLU is the first organization based outside of Shasta County to
weigh in on the controversial issue that has drawn the backing of more
than a half dozen groups both for and against the measure.

Also opposing the passage of Measure A is the Shasta County United
Political Action Committee, Shasta County Citizens for Democracy and
the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

Pushing for a "yes" vote on the measure are the Citizens for Yes On
Measure A with support from the Greater Redding Chamber of Commerce,
Redding Police Officers' Association, Shasta County Deputy Sheriff's
Association, A Sobering Choice and Shasta County Chemical People.

In an e-mail, the ACLU's Allen Hopper said the ordinance was just the
latest in a series of attempts by local communities around the state
to block patients' access to medicine approved by doctors.

"Medical marijuana is legal in this state because voters recognized
its legitimate value in alleviating the pain, nausea and other
symptoms associated with debilitating medical conditions," said
Hopper, director of criminal justice and drug policy for the ACLU of
California. "The government should never be allowed to intrude on
private medical decisions made by sick patients in consultation with
their doctors."

Proponents for Measure A said Tuesday that the issue was not about
access to medical marijuana but establishing a more effective
framework governing when and where cannabis could be grown outside
city limits in Shasta County.

"Measure A has nothing to do with denying access to medical marijuana
but has everything to do with land use," said Shasta County Supervisor
Les Baugh, an advocate for more stringent marijuana growing
regulations. "That's why the Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance
limiting land use and providing direction on how to legally grow
medical marijuana."

Cathy Grindstaff, a volunteer with Citizens for Yes On Measure A and
project director for A Sobering Choice, said the support from law
enforcement and the business community for passage of the measure
spoke for itself.

"I don't think marijuana business is going to attract other businesses
to the Redding area, and I think other business owners know that,"
Grindstaff said.

But Tyler Terrell said support from the ACLU helped validate her
stance that the ordinance violated patients' rights.

"A fresh set of eyes in the legal department at the ACLU has looked at
the amended ordinance and found it to be as unconstitutional as we
have," said Terrell, a volunteer with the Shasta County Citizens  No
On Measure A ballot committee. "That's really important for patients
in Shasta County."

A state court judge earlier this month dismissed a lawsuit filed by
the ACLU challenging a ban on marijuana cultivation in Fresno County,
though that ruling could still be appealed.
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