Thursday, 06 October 2022

Sierra Club comes out against Measure D

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – The Sierra Club on Tuesday formally announced its opposition to Measure D, the marijuana cultivation initiative that has been submitted to Lake County voters for the June 5  ballot.   

The news came the same day that the Lake County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to oppose the initiative, as Lake County News has reported.

Measure D seeks to create an ordinance that would regulate the cultivation of medical marijuana in Lake County.

The Sierra Club Lake Group Executive Committee has several areas of concern regarding Measure D.

For one, the group said Measure D could override existing environmental protections for agricultural crops.

Measure D states, “If this Article is found to be in conflict with any other County Codes, laws, ordinances or resolutions, the provisions of this Article shall prevail.”  

This may be interpreted to mean that the county could not enforce erosion control, pesticide and other toxic chemical use, or grading regulations on medical marijuana cultivation, the Sierra Club said.

Another of the Sierra Club's concerns relates to Measure D overriding existing zoning laws, allowing medical marijuana cultivation in residential areas, including vacant parcels, where agricultural practices are not now allowed under existing rules. This is in direct conflict with zoning laws that protect owners’ property rights in residential areas.

The Sierra Club also said that Measure D is bad public policy, because it cannot be amended or changed by the normal legislative process.

Because it is a ballot measure, if it is passed by the voters, it cannot be changed without another ballot measure approved by the voters.

With the current state of medical marijuana legal interpretations and court decisions in flux, the Sierra Club said it is clear that any regulation of medical marijuana cultivation will need to be amended and fine tuned to address issues that arise.

“We do need sensible regulation of medical marijuana cultivation, but Measure D favors the interests of the growers over the interests of the greater community and the environment,” the Sierra Club said in its statement.

Measure D acknowledges that “medical marijuana is an agricultural product,” yet does not require it to be subject to all the normal rules and requirements that other agricultural products must obey, according to the Sierra Club.

The Sierra Club said it urged voters to vote no on Measure D.

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