Pubdate: Wed, 05 Nov 2014
Source: Record Searchlight (Redding, CA)
Copyright: 2014 Record Searchlight
Author: Clay Duda


SHASTA COUNTY, California - Voters today weighed in on proposed 
updates to medical marijuana cultivation rules in Shasta County 
following months of press conferences, protests and news coverage of 
the contentious issue.

Returns at midnight showed 59 percent of the total 40,226 votes are 
in favor of Measure A, with 41 percent opposing the measure with all 
132 precincts reporting.

If a "yes" vote wins the tally, Measure A would ban outdoor marijuana 
gardens in unincorporated areas of the county and limit indoor grows 
to 12 plants in a detached building on property where a patient 
lives. Violators of the rules could be charged with a misdemeanor.

The measure includes storage of marijuana in its definition of 
cultivation. Patients would need a separate building built to spec to 
legally store any amount of medical marijuana, though county 
officials have said they likely would not prosecute someone storing 
small amounts for personal medical use indoors.

Shasta County's Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the ordinance 
in January. A petition drive followed, collecting nearly double the 
number of needed signatures from registered voters in the county to 
have the measure placed on the ballot.

Measure A would amend a section of the county's building code that 
has set regulations for marijuana cultivation since 2011. Those rules 
regulate gardens by canopy size based on a property's acreage, 
allowing an area up to 60-square-feet on parcels less than one acre 
and a maximum 360-square-feet on properties 20 acres or larger.

Proponents of the more stringent regulations have said they are a 
step in the right direction to start addressing a proliferation of 
large, for-profit marijuana grows in the county, while opponents said 
the rules go too far and would infringe on the rights of legitimate 
medical marijuana patients that may not have the financial means to comply.

Two groups formed in recent months to push for opposite outcomes from 
the election. The ballot committee Citizens for "Yes" on Measure A 
raised $13,241.86 in monetary and in-kind donations to support the 
measure, while Shasta County Citizens  No on Measure A brought in 
$13,716.88 to oppose its passage, according to the most recent 
figures available from the county elections office.

Tyler Terrell, a representative for the group opposing the measure, 
said it was clear the county needed updated regulations to address 
large-scale marijuana cultivation, but said Measure A would do little 
to help crime, patients, or neighbors dealing with out-of-control growers.

"Most importantly we want to make sure Shasta County medical 
marijuana patients don't lose access and the ability to store their 
medicine in their homes," she said.

Supporting the measure, Cathy Grindstaff said she had heard far too 
many horror stories from people living in the midst of out-of-control 
marijuana grows in rural stretches of the county.

"I firmly believe the Board of Supervisors heard all the stories from 
both sides and made the best decision possible for the majority of 
people (when it passed the original ordinance in January," she said.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom