Pubdate: Fri, 03 Jun 2016
Source: Union, The (Grass Valley, CA)
Copyright: 2016 The Union
Author: Lee Nold-Lewis
Note: Lee Nold-Lewis lives in Chicago Park.


Whether you are for or against medical cannabis, you must stand for 
wise decisions that can be enforced. Unnecessary laws which cannot be 
modified for decades serve no one in Nevada County on either side of 
this issue.

The board of supervisors finds themselves caught up in a controversy 
of their own making. No one has been able to quantify the number of 
complaints made about cannabis. This board of supervisors has taken a 
position to punish cannabis growers who didn't comply with Measure S 
guidelines, according to Dan Miller.

The board of supervisors' unwise decision has resulted in a costly 
ballot initiative - costly to all of us taxpayers - and an initiative 
that will require another ballot initiative if it is to be overturned 
in future decades - at yet another cost to us taxpayers - 
approximately $70,000-plus.

The landscape of medical cannabis is changing daily in our country 
and yet Nevada County is locking us all in for future decades. 
Counties such as Placer are embracing cannabis and finding ways to 
work with growers, treating them as any other business.

It is not wise to lock in future boards of supervisors and the 
citizens of Nevada County to a position on cannabis and a cost 
required if any shift in position is taken.

The majority of people with medical cannabis businesses want to be 
treated as businesses, with taxation, licensing, etc. At the state 
level, this approach is in process, but while it is getting rolled 
out, counties still take the lead in determining land use.

If W stands, it cannot be enforced. Law enforcement is stretched to 
the limits as it is, and yet we are heaping on the burden of more 
helicopter trips, more surveillance related to cannabis. This county 
wants law enforcement to focus on real crimes: theft, human 
trafficking, assault, and other violent crimes - not on the few 
involved with cannabis.

Looking back to the 1920s, we see that prohibition does not work! Can 
we not learn from the past; are we destined to repeat the same failed 
policies? Somehow the board of supervisors believes that it will be 
different this time because they say so, and that is faulty logic. It 
will not be different; it will encourage corruption and an increase 
in illegal activities in this county.

The attempts to control medical cannabis by banning its growth - 
limiting size and type of grow, etc. - effectively sends growers 
"underground" and causes more disruption, more polarizing of the 
community around this issue.

The ballot initiative is unnecessary when the cannabis community is 
stepping up to say "treat us as businesses; let us pay taxes" and 
while the board of supervisors has acted within their legal rights to 
control land use, in that process has taken needless steps to put the 
medical cannabis business in this county on notice: you will not be 
tolerated, we will not talk to you; you have no viable voice in Nevada County.

That's misguided government; that's legislating from opinion, and 
undermines the representative process when such long lasting, 
unenforceable and unnecessary actions are taken without the full 
community's active involvement.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom