In December of 2013 we approached the Board of Supervisors stating that we wanted to help create an medical marijuana cultivation ordinance that would be fair and effective, rather than fight them in the courts or by referendum. We were ignored. This is now Measure N. Measure N is short-sighted, unfair, unfunded and unenforceable.
Measure N is bad policy on so many levels. Due to the fact that the supervisors refused to have a committee or work directly with its constituents to create real solutions, we have taken democracy into our own hands. Because of our referendum, the supervisors have placed Measure N on the June ballot for the people of Lake County to decide, and we are confident that the people will vote no on Measure N.
Since the state of California has failed to pass regulations effectuating Proposition 215, which was passed in 1996, Lake County and other local jurisdictions have been left to pass their own medical marijuana regulations. In Lake County we have been attempting to create a cannabis cultivation ordinance that will be effective and fair.
In 2012, there was a broad-based committee formed by the Board of Supervisors with the goal of creating an ordinance that would preserve the right for patients to cultivate their own medicine, while maintaining a high standard of public health and safety.
But this committee was unwisely disbanded by the supervisors, when its work was nearly complete. Supervisor Farrington decided to quit this committee prior to a lawsuit being filed. Supervisors Rushing and Smith had encouraged Supervisor Farrington to continue on the committee, but to no avail.
In fact, that committee’s interim recommendations were largely adopted in the current ordinance which is still in effect, but were totally ignored in Measure N.
Finally, we recognized that our job would not be complete if we just defeated Measure N. We saw the need to offer a viable, financially sound and forward-thinking solution. We retained counsel to write a sound and fair regulatory ordinance, with a funding mechanism and strict environmental controls. It is known as the Medical Marijuana Control Act and is scheduled to be on the November ballot for the people of Lake County to vote on.
Alternatively, the supervisors can simply adopt the Medical Marijuana Control Act as the permanent ordinance for Lake County once the signatures are verified. There is an alternative to creating criminals out of patients for growing a handful of plants.
Vote no on Measure N on June 3! And then let’s implement regulations that work for everyone!
Daniel McLean of Lower Lake, Calif., is campaign coordinator for the No on Measure N campaign.