Pubdate: Sat, 18 Jun 2016
Source: Union, The (Grass Valley, CA)
Copyright: 2016 The Union


Since banning outdoor marijuana cultivation in January, the Nevada 
County Board of Supervisors has weathered a great deal of criticism.

As supervisors and supporters of Measure W forged ahead toward the 
June 7 election, much of the backlash was based in perceptions that 
our elected representatives were not representing enough of our 
electorate on the matter, or even listening to the opposition.

Many critics, including those published on these pages, expressed 
frustration over legislating through an urgency ordinance does not 
afford time for thoughtful conversation to find compromise in 
creating a community standard on cannabis.

And although the four supervisors who voted in favor of ban believed 
they were representing the wishes of their constituents - often 
citing a "silent majority" - much of the vitriol that followed deemed 
the decision as being out of touch with voters or even just downright 
devious. Social media sniping suggested, among other things, the 
supervisors would not keep their word in rescinding the ban if 
Measure W failed.

That, of course, has not been the reality in the aftermath.

Even as the earliest election results were reported, Chairman Dan 
Miller said the board was "obligated" to lift the ban and, on the 
following day, began work to bring stakeholders to the table by 
reaching out to opponents of Measure W to discuss the future of grow 

That conversation began Wednesday, and despite initially closing the 
doors to the media, Miller and the supervisors reversed course - 
after residents responded by touting the need for transparency - and 
ensured the community would be "in the room" by allowing media to 
cover the conversation.

Considering Nevada County just endured two consecutive election 
cycles with ballot measures that sought to change local law on the 
cultivation of marijuana, the issue is clearly of great interest. 
And, considering the intended outcome of these discussions is to seek 
some semblance of a community consensus on the regulation of cannabis 
cultivation, we believe the public should be party to the conversation.

We are heartened to see our supervisors agree, and encourage voters 
to remain engaged with the process as it plays out.

The Civil Grand Jury recently recommended supervisors should 
"increase personal awareness of the need for public transparency 
between the Supervisors and parties with business before the Nevada 
County Board of Supervisors."

In the wake of a contentious ballot measure election, it is 
encouraging to see action by the Board of Supervisors that shows a 
commitment to the kind of collaboration and transparency that can 
build trust - and perhaps even strike a compromise on cannabis 
cultivation - among opposing viewpoints.

In short, the supervisors have kept their word and they are listening.

We encourage all sides to set aside the vitriol and hyperbole of the 
election in favor of the kind of inclusive, judicious and temperate 
talks it will likely take to bring our community together on such an 
important issue that impacts us all.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom