Pubdate: Tue, 28 Oct 2014
Source: Record Searchlight (Redding, CA)
Copyright: 2014 Record Searchlight
Author: Clay Duda
Bookmark: (Marijuana - Medicinal)


REDDING, California - Nearly 100 people turned out for a forum in
south Redding Monday night to hear arguments for and against Shasta
County's Measure A, a ballot measure that -- if approved by voters
next week -- would ban outdoor marijuana cultivation in unincorporated
areas of the county and place additional restrictions on indoor grows.

People on both sides of the debate agreed for-profit, illegal
marijuana grows have led to environmental damage and crime in the
North State, but the competing factions offered greatly different
opinions on how best to regulate those gardens and hold scofflaw
marijuana growers accountable.

Joined by Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko, Betty Cunningham and
Cathy Grindstaff said they were pushing for a zero-tolerance stance on
marijuana cultivation in the county.

"We're saying 'no, we don't want this. We don't want the environmental
damage or the crime,'" Grindstaff told the crowd. "I want our land to
look like it did when I moved here in 1987."

But opponents Rick Arons and Matthew Meyer said the proposed rules
would do little to curtail activity that was already outlawed in the

"The problems that are there are already illegal," said Arons. "Don't
take away the rights of property owners and patients already doing it
the right way."

Meyer said the wording of Measure A made it impossible for most
legitimate medical marijuana patients to comply with the new
regulations, particularly requirements for a separate building to
store marijuana and that all collective members live on the property
where his or her cannabis is being grown.

"It's time to sit down at the table and start crafting a policy that's
going to work for everyone," he said.

Bosenko noted patients still could purchase medical marijuana from one
of the two collectives operating in the county.

"This ordinance is not designed to limit a patient's access to medical
marijuana under the Compassionate Use Act, it's a land use issue," he

Hosted by the Redding Tea Party, the nearly two-hour forum drew some
heated remarks and criticism from audience members during a
question-and-answer session. Moderator Erin Ryan at one point reminded
the crowd that the meeting was not a debate, and conversations could
be continued in the parking lot after the event.

One person asked the people opposing Measure A why all marijuana
growers were lawless. Meyer said that culture was largely a product of
the illegal status of marijuana, comparing it to prohibition.

Another man asked Sheriff Bosenko how the county would guarantee him
access to the medical marijuana he felt the state's Proposition 215
and subsequent court rulings afforded him. Bosenko said patients would
still have the option to grow indoors, collectively or purchase
medical marijuana from one of the two collectives still operating in
the county.

Marilyn Hagler, 75, of Millville, said she had decided to support
Measure A before the meeting, but the people arguing against its
passage raised some valid points.

"I think I would vote yes on A because nobody needs to grow 300 plants
unless they're going to sell it," she said. "Twelve plants should be
enough, but there should be some way for patients to afford it."

Don Crow, 76, of Millville, said he didn't really care if people grew
marijuana inside or outdoors, he was against it all together.

"There are a lot of people like me that just don't like marijuana.
Period," he said.
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