Pubdate: Thu, 30 Apr 2015
Source: Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA)
Copyright: 2015 Appeal-Democrat


We're aware of the fact that most of what we can say about the 
medical marijuana cultivation situation in Yuba County is now based 
on hindsight. What good does that do? Who knows, but we find it 
regrettable that there's a fair contingency of folks lining up to 
scold supervisors who, in turn, are just digging in.

We have a feeling the present brouhaha over medical marijuana 
cultivation didn't really have to happen at this level (while 
realizing that there was probably no way to tighten up the old 
ordinance - which needed to happen -- without some level of criticism.)

Here's the way it looks, now that we look back:

Supervisors originally were faced with the necessity of creating an 
ordinance that would allow for cultivation of medical marijuana. 
Think what you like about marijuana and its usefulness, there is a 
state law that says that patients who have a recommendation from a 
doctor should be able to use and supply themselves with the drug.

Supervisors devised, after some compromise, a fairly lenient 
ordinance that used a graduated scale - setting how many individual 
pot plants could be grown according to the size of a property ... all 
the way up to 99 plants for parcels of 20 acres or more.

Somewhere along the line in the last couple years, it became pretty 
apparent that the law was being followed by a few legitimate users; 
and flaunted by a lot of growers who must be raising marijuana 
commercially, whether sales are to medical marijuana card holders or 
not. And that's not what was supposed to happen; and it's not what 
residents want to have happening.

Supervisors got mad and reacted with a new ordinance. While the 
original lenient ordinance was focused on accommodating legitimate 
growers, the new ordinance was written mainly to address those who 
were gaming or flat out breaking the law.

Users are now crying foul because the new ordinance, to them, is 
draconian. No outdoors growing is allowed, nor is indoors growing in 
domiciles. It essentially makes it illegal for card-carrying users to 
grow their own in any sort of economical fashion.

We're not sure there would have been so much to-do from either side 
if supervisors would have just allowed a few plants to be grown in a 
garden by card carriers for personal consumption and outlawed larger 
grows and reiterated the illegality of any sort of commercial grows. 
It would have been pretty easy for code enforcement and law 
enforcement to interpret, it would address the commercial grow 
problem, it would have accommodated the bunch of people who want to 
grow their own.

There would still be a vociferous bunch protesting the law because it 
cramps their operations. Too bad. But this isn't 2016 - the year, 
it's predicted by many, that the state will legalize marijuana use. 
Till then, the law is the law and there shouldn't be large grow sites 
in the county - there's no real justification for them under the law. 
And marijuana, like it or not, is still largely a black market 
commodity with all the inherent maladies - it's just not a good thing 
to have happening.

Also, we don't want to seem like we're down on the supervisors or law 
enforcement. They've been doing what they believe to be best for the 
county and to serve their constituencies, as they know them. They all 
won election.

And most of their constituents, we're sure, don't want illegal grows 
and the several inherent problems that accompany them - it's a matter 
of public safety, as well as the rights of neighbors, environmental 
concerns, etc.

But we hate to see the finger wagging and the tense back and forth. 
Of course, not all discussions in a government chamber have to be 
meek, mild and pleasant. Some arguing is expected ... but this could 
go on and on. And all it's going to do is reinforce each side's 
belief that they're right and the others are wrong.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom