Pubdate: Tue, 01 Sep 2015
Source: Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA)
Copyright: 2015 Appeal-Democrat
Author: Andrew Creasey


The medical marijuana ordinance in Sutter County will continue 
unchanged, despite several recommended modifications by an advisory committee.

A presentation to the Board of Supervisors last Tuesday was 
information-only, so no action was taken, and the board gave little 
indication that any of the recommended changes would be implemented.

Michael Clayton, president of the Sutter County Medical Marijuana 
Growers Association, suggested several changes he would like to see 
made to the ordinance, which Clayton said was excessively restrictive 
for the legitimate medical marijuana user.

"The ordinance is completely hindering people's ability to provide 
medicine for themselves," Clayton said.

The board approved the ordinance in 2013. It prohibits marijuana 
cultivation within 2,000 feet of schools, churches, parks, bus stops 
and child care centers and establishes setback requirements from 
property lines for crops to mitigate the plant's odor.

Clayton proposed the board eliminate bus stops from the 2,000-foot 
rule. He said bus stops change too frequently, making it difficult to 
enforce by the county. He also proposed reducing the barrier from 
2,000 feet to 1,500 feet in all cases.

"Why is it that a child molester is only required to be 1,000 feet 
away from a school when a legal patient can't get closer than 2,000 
feet?" Clayton said. "That's not fair."

The board gave little indication of what the future holds for the 
ordinance or Clayton's proposed changes.

Board Chairman Ron Sullenger said the ordinance seems to be working, 
saying the supervisors are taking less calls this year from people 
complaining about marijuana gardens.

"I don't see a rush judgment at this point in time to overhaul the 
marijuana ordinance," Sullenger said. "I think the general consensus 
of opinion was that if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Supervisor Jim Whiteaker said he would like to see the ordinance go 
even further and only allow indoor marijuana grows.

"I'd like to see no outdoor grows to take away the nuisance issue," 
Whiteaker said. "The smell seems to be the number one complaint."

Clayton said he will continue to work towards implementing changes to 
the ordinance, while trying to show the Board and the community that 
there is a misconception about marijuana growers.

"A lot of people's opinions are based on a lack of education or 
fear," Clayton said. "They make assumptions that everyone who's 
growing marijuana are criminals, and it's not true."
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