LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – The Lake County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Lake County Farm Bureau have officially endorsed Measure N, the county ordinance governing medical marijuana cultivation that goes before voters June 3.
The chamber's and Farm Bureau's separate decisions to endorse the measure put them in the company of other groups including the Lake County Deputy Sheriff's Association and the Kelseyville Business Association.
The Board of Supervisors unanimously passed Ordinance No. 2997 last December to establish permanent guidelines for medical marijuana cultivation, as the county's temporary urgency ordinance is to expire this July.
A subsequent referendum effort was launched against the ordinance, with enough signatures collected to qualify for the June ballot.
However, rather than rescind Ordinance 2997 – as it had done in previous referendum efforts – the Board of Supervisors chose to let voters decide. The board let the ordinance stand and voted to place it on the June 3 ballot.
In addition, on March 4, the board voted unanimously for a resolution in support of Measure N.
Lake County Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Melissa Fulton reported that the chamber's board took a position to support yes on Measure N following a review of the ordinance and discussion at board meetings.
“The Lake County Chamber supports the rights of legitimate medical marijuana patients as was intended by Proposition 215,” the chamber board said in a written statement. “However, we have heard from members of the chamber and others throughout the county who are concerned about the cultivation of marijuana in their neighborhoods and the county as a whole.”
The chamber board said that a yes vote on Measure N will provide tools for local law enforcement to mitigate the grows.
On Thursday, Lake County Farm Bureau Executive Director Claudia Street issued a statement explaining that at a recent meeting of the local Farm Bureau Board of Directors, that group's directors also voted to endorse Measure N.
“Lake County Farm Bureau supports a yes vote on Measure N,” Street's report said.
Previous to the chamber and Farm Bureau's endorsements, the Lake County Deputy Sheriff’s Association came out publicly with its support of Measure N.
The association reported that in 2013 deputies identified hundreds of outdoor marijuana cultivation sites, eradicating 141 sites determined to be illegal.
“Despite the deputies’ efforts, many sites went unchecked due to a lack of man power and time,” the association said in a written statement.
Also in 2013, the association said deputies investigated 14 reported home invasion marijuana robberies – one of which resulted in a homicide.
Of those investigations, many took place in community growth boundaries where the densest populations of residential homes and families live, the association reported.
“With the passing of Measure N, this element of violent crimes resulting from outdoor cultivation is removed from residential neighborhoods and schools, while still accommodating the rights of medical marijuana patients,” the association said in its support statement.
Citizens for a Safer Lake County – Yes on Measure N, www.VoteYesonN.org and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yes-on-N/233502143511341 , will host several town halls next week to explain the measure to the community.
The town halls, all of which begin at 6 p.m., will take place on Monday, May 19, at the Clear Lake Riviera Association Community Hall, 9689 Highway 281, Kelseyville; Tuesday, May 20, at the Spring Valley Community Center, 3000 Wolfe Creek Road, Spring Valley; and Wednesday, May 21, at the Greenview Restaurant & Café, 18174 Hidden Valley Road, Hidden Valley Lake.
Email Elizabeth Larson at [email protected] . Follow her on Twitter, @ERLarson, or Lake County News, @LakeCoNews.
written by a guest, May 16, 2014