Initiative Aims To Curb MJ Growing in Mendocino 

  Initiative Aims To Curb MJ Growing in Mendocino 

Posted by CN Staff on May 31, 2008 at 12:12:10 PT
By Michelle Locke, Associated Press 
Source: Associated Press 

Willits, CA -- Voters in this rugged stretch of Northern California took marijuana laws to new heights in 2000, allowing residents to grow up to 25 marijuana plants for medical, recreational or personal use.But eight years later, some are campaigning to scale back the law, saying it's time to weed out pot profiteers. "We want to take that welcome mat away," said Ross Liberty, spokesman for Measure B, which goes before Mendocino County voters Tuesday.
Opponents say they, too, want to evict large-scale, criminal operators. But they say Measure B won't address that issue and will instead go after the people who need medical marijuana."What (Measure) B does is redefines who gets arrested and the 'who' will be medical patients that are growing more than six plants," said Laura Hamburg, who became active in the No on B campaign after her medical marijuana garden was raided.The issue offers a glimpse into the murky world of medical marijuana in California, legal under state law, banned by the feds, and according to some reports, bringing some serious green into the Golden State.Using marijuana for medical purposes has been legal in California since 1996, when voters passed Proposition 215. But that law had only a sketchy mechanism for how marijuana would be produced and dispensed.State lawmakers subsequently allowed counties to issue ID cards to protect medical users from being prosecuted by local authorities. Each cardholder is allowed to have up to a half pound of dried marijuana or six mature marijuana plants, although local governments can set laws exceeding the state's limits.Meanwhile, federal authorities, who never recognized Proposition 215 and deny that marijuana has medicinal properties, have won a number of legal showdowns over the measure.In 2000, Mendocino County voters approved Measure G, which had a 25-plant limit and permitted personal and recreational use, the latter a symbolic gesture since neither state nor federal laws allow personal pot use.The new law, Measure B, would repeal Measure G and set plant limits at state levels. (It's not entirely clear what that will mean since state guidelines are at issue in a Southern California court case. The No on B side interprets the case as undermining Measure B. The Yes side disagrees, noting the case is under appeal.)Sheriff Tom Allman says the problem with Measure G is it gave the impression marijuana had been legalized in Mendocino County."There's this perception that we're just a bunch of Cheech and Chong marijuana growers up here," Allman said.Blessed by ancient redwood groves and bordered by a breathtakingly beautiful coast, Mendocino County has long also been famous as a source of high-grade pot.Estimates on how much money is generated by marijuana in Mendocino County and statewide vary; officials say it's hard to come up with a definite total since so much of the industry is undercover.Figures from the state's Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) show more than 220,000 plants were seized in Mendocino County last year, up from about 136,000 the year before.Statewide, CAMP reported seizures of 2.9 million plants with an estimated wholesale value of $11.6 billion.Hamburg, the daughter of former Rep. Dan Hamburg, grows medical marijuana for herself, her mother and her sister as well as a neighbor. She was raided last year by deputies who said they found an excessive number of plants.The charges were later dropped, leaving Hamburg determined to "work as hard as I could, as much as I could, so that no one would have to experience what I went through, which was devastating."Hamburg says there's no correlation between state seizure figures and county plant limits, pointing out that CAMP stats show Mendocino County ranked fourth in 2007 seizures. No. 1 was sparsely populated Lake County, which follows the state minimum of six plants, with nearly 483,000 plants seized.She argues that it's not Measure G that spurs marijuana growth in Mendocino County but its climate, topography and the institutional knowledge gleaned from decades of marijuana farming.But Allman and others say cannabis became a lot less covert here after Measure G passed."It's in your face bad," said Allman.These days, residents complain they can't sit in their backyards because the smell of the next-door marijuana patch is so strong, the sheriff said.In August, said Liberty, "it smells like pot everywhere. It just reeks."On the other side of the Measure B issue are George and Jean Hanamoto.Lavender and other carefully tended shrubs bloom in their attractive front garden on a wooded hillside in Mendocino County. And in the back yard are their marijuana plants, their characteristically spear-tipped leaves turned to the sky.Hanamoto, who is 74 and uses marijuana to relieve glaucoma and for back pain, said cutting plant limits to six would hurt people like him because growing conditions mean he can't always get the maximum out of each plant.Allman says the Hanamotos aren't the kind of people he'll be sending deputies after. He said he will continue to concentrate on large operations.Beyond that, "I want the rest of the state and possibly the nation to say, `Wow, we can't do whatever we want in Mendocino County,'" he said.But the Hanamotos aren't won over by arguments that Measure B will deter criminal operators."The laws are there already," said Jean Hanamoto. "This is just to squash the little guy."Complete Title: Initiative Aims To Curb Marijuana Growing in Mendocino Co.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Michelle Locke, Associated PressPublished: Saturday, May 31, 2008Copyright: 2008 The Associated PressRelated Articles:Pot is Burning Issue on Mendocino Ballot Against Pot Growing in Mendocino Clouds Mendocino Pot Measure

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Comment #13 posted by afterburner on December 03, 2008 at 19:53:51 PT
Smells = Jail ?
In August, said [Ross] Liberty, "it smells like pot everywhere. It just reeks."America's Most Hated Foods.
Top 20 Food Fouls.
#20 Blueberries.
#19 Maple Syrup.
#18 Cilantro.
#17 Onions.
#16 Cooked Carrots.
#15 Raisins.
#14 Peas.
#13 Oysters.
#12 Pea Soup.
#11 Sour Cream.
#10 Gelatin.
#9 Tuna.
#8 Brussels Sprouts.
#7 Beets.
#6 Okra
#5 Eggs.
#4 Mushrooms.
#3 Mayonnaise.
#2 Lima Beans.
#1 Liver.
}Most of these are prized nutritious foods. No wonder many Americans are so sick. Maybe some of their Pharma drugs & junk food have jaded their taste for natural foods. At least they don't think people who eat them should be caged, but some of the comments are moving in that direction. Check out the complaints about smells: Parents should think twice about forcing children to eat food they don't like.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on June 01, 2008 at 18:38:47 PT

Storm Crow 
I think we have entered the Twilight Zone I'll call Crazy Time! LOL!
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Comment #11 posted by Storm Crow on June 01, 2008 at 18:35:44 PT

And anyway....
Isn't this all a senseless argument in light of the recent California court ruling?
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Comment #10 posted by sam adams on June 01, 2008 at 12:21:21 PT

one more thought
let's face it, it is satisfying to a degree to hear the bleatings of the governemnt on this issue. Why? Because they're going to lose so badly.Even if they manage to win this vote, which is unlikely without cheating, it is almost certain to be struck down along with the state level limit on medical possession.I'm not aware of any other medical law that says a patient can only have a certain amount of medication. That power is reserved to MDs. The biggest concern is this election. What are the odds that the county govt. will let a real vote happen? I'd say low indeed. Even the city government of Berkeley sabotaged a medical MJ referendum, I"m sure these bozos in Mendocinco will do their worst.
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Comment #9 posted by Sam Adams on June 01, 2008 at 12:17:33 PT

Kapt I was thinking the same thing - watch the govt. go through gymnastics to control the cannabis industry in Mendicino, and fail miserably. Because you can't regulate something that's prohibited!All the rest is just disturbing fascism. Getting the government to throw your neighbors in jail because you don't like a whiff of flowers in August for a few weeks. That's disgraceful and un-American. That is NOT freedom, that is tyranny.The sheriff is very revealing. They don't want "in your face" cannabis. Just like gay rights. Just like inter-racial marriage. Just like equal schools and workplaces. Can't we just keep the blacks out of the ballparks and school, so we don't have to look at them? All IN YOUR FACE now, eh piggy?There's nothing more IN YOUR FACE that the government stealing half your paycheck every week to give it to lazy, bigoted cops.
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Comment #8 posted by kaptinemo on June 01, 2008 at 08:08:31 PT:

Some folks still don't get it
I am not lucky enough to live in a State with functioning MMJ laws, and given how many people around here (Nothern VA/DC area) are, to use Ward Churchill's phraseology, 'busy little Eichmanns' for the DrugWar, and make their bread-and-butter off it, won't have such laws until the very last, it astounds me that some people in California just haven't figured out why Prop215 was written the way it was.Namely, to point out the unworkability of cannabis prohibition in its' entirety.How much stuff can you bolt on, weld on, glue on, etc. to something that has never worked, in trying to make it work, before you realize...nothing you do will ever make it work because it never ran to begin with?MMJ laws do two things most of all: they prove that there is a huge constituency in favor of them, and secondly, by derivation, that cannabis use, for whatever purpose, is now ingrained in our society. Which makes a mockery of the laws intended to prohibit it. Trying to add these restrictions on growing is as pointless as the original prohibition laws, themselves; can't people see this? 
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Comment #7 posted by John Tyler on June 01, 2008 at 08:07:33 PT

it's an aroma
That is one f the prohibitionists’ argument…they find the aroma of ripening cannabis offensive. Get over it.
My local newspaper, this morning, had an article about this and they referred to cannabis growing in California as the California pot industry. This is quite a change. My conservative newspaper referred to California cannabis growing as an industry. Industry has a positive connotation.  

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Comment #6 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on June 01, 2008 at 03:56:12 PT

In a world of farts, dog shit, and paper mills....
....people are offended by the odor of cannabis???I think 10 minutes standing beside a cotton seed mill would make them appreciate how unoffensive cannabis truly is.(I wonder if paper mills that process cannabis stink as bad as the ones that process trees?)
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on May 31, 2008 at 21:53:14 PT

"seem a little silly"
There are super sensitive people among us, I've noticed, who are really not all that nice, or easy to get along with, or pleasant to be around very much. They tend to a kind of aggressive petulance. If it's not the scent of cannabis growing, it's something else.
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on May 31, 2008 at 21:45:49 PT

I ladore that smell of tomato plants.
".... every tomato plant I've grown, when brushed against, smells more strongly (and less pleasantly) than any cannabis plant I've grown."And roses and other flowers. But I do know that some people don't. Some people are made to feel yucky by the sweetness of gardenia.For me... it's not summer, complete somehow, until I inhale that warm, wooly, summery, promising tomato plant fragrance.Being like that makes me realize, I'm pretty sure, that I would find the scent of lush stands of cannabis interesting and lively... and full of promise.:0)
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Comment #3 posted by Storm Crow on May 31, 2008 at 21:29:27 PT

The smell of plants....
Frankly, every tomato plant I've grown, when brushed against, smells more strongly (and less pleasantly) than any cannabis plant I've grown. If I don't happen to care for the scent of roses or tomatoes or pine trees, or what-ever plant, can I prevent my neighbor from growing them? This kind of argument begins to seem a little silly if you substitute another smelly, but legal, plant in the place of cannabis. 
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on May 31, 2008 at 19:41:15 PT

I agree, Ekim.
I'm thinking I might not hate that skunky smell of the cannabis plants as much as some of the people mentioned in this article claim to.I think, considering what we know about the amazing plant, it might even seem quite healthy an odor to have in the air. But maybe not.
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Comment #1 posted by ekim on May 31, 2008 at 19:14:35 PT

man what a place
to be able to smell a plant that has been banned for so long
-- in your face -- yes -- to have caused by lies and such vicious attacks the black balling of must be in your face to have to stand and debate the issue in full view of all concerned.the planet is on its heels tring to feed everyone--
to ignore Cannabis food and fuel value must be seen as a failed and very dangerous policy going forward.a great sumit of all the known facts of Cannabis could be brought together in the great redwoods then broadcast across the whole planet for all to see and hear.the Norml big legal meeting is this comming weekend and maybe some time will be given to the question of how can the great lie that Cannabis will make one violent -- no violent act no conviction.

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