Time To Repeal Measure G

Time To Repeal Measure G
Posted by CN Staff on December 14, 2007 at 14:36:29 PT
Opinion By The Ukiah Daily Journal Staff
Source: Ukiah Daily Journal 
California -- This week the Daily Journal agreed to help a local effort to repeal the county's Measure G ordinance. We do this because we believe that Measure G is in large part the reason marijuana growing in this county has gone from a tolerated underground business for people living in the hills to massive commercial operations for hundreds of people living not only in the hills, but in our residential neighborhoods.
Measure G passed with 58 percent of the vote in Mendocino County in the year 2000 as a way to allow small "mom and pop" growers in the county to grow personal supplies of pot without fear of arrest and prosecution. It came just after the statewide Proposition 215, which legalized medical marijuana possession and cultivation.The two measures combined in this county sent a message to the world that marijuana growing here was basically legal.And the swarms of growers moved in and have set up operations virtually unchallenged.The marijuana growers are mostly claiming to be growing for medical marijuana patients, a scam encouraged by Measure G. Because of Measure G, our county has been unable to restrict medical marijuana growing to the far more reasonable six-plant per patient state limit. This week the county Board of Supervisors did the right thing by introducing a new ordinance which will limit medical marijuana plants to 25 per legal parcel. The city of Ukiah has adopted a 12-plant-per parcel limit and banned outdoor growing.And still, the growers feel free to keep growing because as long as 25 marijuana plants are legal for anyone to grow under Measure G, our Sheriff and District Attorney don't feel comfortable enforcing anything stricter. It's time for Measure G to go.This week we joined in a meeting of local citizens from both inland and the coast, and from all political persuasions, to form a coalition to work on getting a ballot measure on the June county election ballot to reverse Measure G and enact state limits on medical marijuana growing. Such a measure would ideally also affirm a per-parcel limit on plants (to prevent so-called care givers from claiming they have 50-100 patients to grow for) and prohibit growing near schools, churches and other community facilities.At the coalition meeting this week Supervisors Jim Wattenburger and Mike Delbar agreed to have such an ordinance drafted by the county counsel and we urge all the supervisors to support putting it on the June ballot and let the citizens of Mendocino County decide whether the Measure G experiment is over. We believe given a chance to have their say, the majority of local citizens will indeed say "Enough!" Every supervisor should be willing to let the people decide.It is also important for the supervisors to act because they have the opportunity to get a measure on the June ballot while a citizen ballot effort would not only require the gathering of 3,000 or so signatures - not a problem we think - but those signatures would have to be verified by the county clerk's office which could take long enough to push the measure to the November ballot, almost a year - and another couple of marijuana seasons - away.Now, as to Jimmy Rickel's "Sensible Medical Marijuana" Measure G repeal effort now underway with signature gathering locally. We appreciate that Mr. Rickel has taken the lead in putting this question before the voters. We give him credit for starting the conversation and leading the charge. However, Mr. Rickel's proposed ballot measure has two very big flaws: First, it does not specifically repeal Measure G. Therefore Measure G would remain on the books in the county. This would create a legal quagmire the pot growers would use in any court challenge to their growing operations.Second, Mr. Rickel's measure requires the Sheriff and DA to make marijuana growing offenses their "highest" priority. While repealing Measure G and adopting state standards will certainly give the Sheriff and DA better tools to bust these big growing operations, we're not ready to say that these busts are a higher priority than murder, rape, home invasions and other violent crimes.Had Mr. Rickel's measure been as simple as repealing Measure G and implementing state standards, we could have endorsed it and helped cheerlead the signature gathering phase. Instead, this new coalition formed because we saw Mr. Rickel's well-meant measure as only making it more likely that the status quo will continue. Once again we urge Jimmy Rickel to stop gathering signatures and work to put a measure on the ballot that will pass. Two competing measures will only mean defeat for both and victory for the growers.As for the growers. We're sure there will be heavy opposition from them. We would not expect people making millions of illegal dollars each year to give it up without a fight. They will be well funded and will try to project a Measure G repeal and enactment of the stricter state standards as taking away essential medicine to many sick and dying patients. We know that in reality the vast majority of marijuana being grown here is being sold elsewhere at street prices - even to medical marijuana patients.There will also be arguments that all of this underground activity is actually good for our economy. Hogwash. All it is really doing is sending millions of dollars out of town, using up scarce water resources, diminishing our land values, and making this a dangerous place to live.We believe repealing Measure G and enacting state medical marijuana standards is the best answer and we urge anyone who agrees to contact their supervisor right away and tell him or her to support putting the question on the June ballot. We believe the supervisors could take up this issue as early as their January 8 meeting, so start making those calls and sending those letters and email now.Source: Ukiah Daily Journal (CA)Published: December 13, 2007Copyright: 2007 Ukiah Daily JournalContact: udj pacific.netWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #3 posted by Treeanna on December 15, 2007 at 05:47:33 PT
Hearst-style reporting
This will get straightened out once people over there are forced to file some lawsuits.It would be nice to see some such done proactively due to the conflicts with state law.
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Comment #2 posted by Truth on December 14, 2007 at 19:42:38 PT
I guess these folks think jail is a better place for their neighbors then under the roof they put over their children's heads. Shame on them. Certainly not the way most of the county thinks.
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Comment #1 posted by dongenero on December 14, 2007 at 15:15:33 PT
Laws that don't work?
Hmmm.........come to think of it, cannabis prohibition has not worked for all of these decades it has been in place. Perhaps by the same token as measure G, prohibition should be repealed?If we repeal cannabis prohibition it will take a bit of time for the novelty to wear off, but in short order it will calm down because the inflated cannabis values caused by prohibition will not be sustained.
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