Cloud of Questions Surrounds Mendocino's Measure B

Cloud of Questions Surrounds Mendocino's Measure B
Posted by CN Staff on June 02, 2008 at 17:56:25 PT
By Mike Geniella, The Press Democrat
Source: Press Democrat
Ukiah, CA --  When the Measure B campaign was launched several months ago, it was widely promoted as the way to strip Mendocino County of its dubious distinction of being a national haven for marijuana growers."Take Back Our County" signs sprouted around the county faster than inch-high marijuana seedlings being nurtured by indoor grow lights.
Eager volunteers set a goal of racking up a margin of victory so large in Tuesday's primary election that their "message" to the outside world would be loud and clear: Marijuana growers no longer welcome.As the election approaches, however, the results seem uncertain in a race that is one of the most closely watched on the North Coast, and one that has received national attention.In the waning days of the campaign, legal questions have been raised about the constitutionality of state guidelines that Measure B seeks to impose in Mendocino County.The opposition campaign has been buoyed by a surge in the number of "No on B" signs and letters to local newspapers in rural areas where the county's underground marijuana economy is strongest.Conservative estimates pegged the value of the county's illicit cash crop at $500 million, five times more than the dollars generated by the Mendocino wine industry.Ukiah Valley, where the Measure B campaign originated, is the county's seat of government, education and law enforcement, but its politics typically are more conservative than attitudes in outlying rural regions and coastal areas. There's a long history of countywide campaigns shifting when the ballots from the Fort Bragg, Mendocino, Willits and Laytonville areas are counted."It's difficult to quantify, but I believe things may be turning in our favor," said Laura Hamburg, coordinator of the Measure B opposition.Critics say that Measure B provides no new revenue or "teeth" to local law enforcement to rid the county of large-scale, commercial marijuana-growing operations that everyone seems to agree is the problem. Instead, the measure only provides for a rollback from the currently allowed 25 plants per individual for personal use to the state's six-plant medical marijuana guideline. A state Court of Appeal in Los Angeles last week ruled that state guidelines are unconstitutional, throwing Measure B's enforcement provision into question.Ross Liberty, Measure B's organizer, said that even if the more restrictive state guidelines are found to be unconstitutional, that still would not negate Measure B's repeal of current county standards. They were the most liberal in the nation when county voters adopted them by a 58 percent-to-42 percent margin in 2000."That's what Measure B has been all about from the beginning. We're seeking to end an era of out-of-control commercial marijuana growing that's been going on for the last eight years," Liberty said.The public debate has taken on an edge in face of the marijuana-cultivation arrests of some high-profile citizens, including Hamburg last fall -- the charges later were dropped -- plus a popular Ukiah High School teacher and most recently, a local news reporter, his girlfriend, and her family.Measure B supporters see the cases as even more evidence of how widespread and pervasive the county's marijuana culture has become.Many doctors, teachers, local business leaders and law enforcement agencies have joined to make a communitywide plea for an end to Mendocino's laissez faire attitude toward marijuana.But critics say the Measure B campaign has become unnecessarily divisive.Antonio Andrade, a 27-year Ukiah resident, said that Measure B supporters have "seized on a highly troublesome, festering situation, and separated neighbors into 'for us or against' blocks."Measure B is a tragic example of old-style, win-lose politics," Andrade said.VOTING HOURSPolls in Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake counties will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.In Sonoma County, absentee ballots can be dropped off at the Registrar of Voters Office on Fiscal Drive in Santa Rosa from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and until 8 p.m. Tuesday.They also can be dropped off at any polling place Tuesday.Note: Tuesday vote to limit number of pot plants faces legal issues.Source: Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA)Author: Mike Geniella, The Press DemocratPublished: Monday, June 2, 2008Copyright: 2008 The Press DemocratContact: letters pressdemo.comWebsite: Articles:Initiative Aims To Curb MJ Growing in Mendocino is Burning Issue on Mendocino Ballot Against Pot Growing in Mendocino
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on June 03, 2008 at 08:28:01 PT
"Conservative estimates"
Yeah... we've been hearing those "conservative estimates"... to the tune of like ten dollars for every pinner joint rolled out of every plant that is "conservatively" estimated to produce twenty to fifty pounds of high quality marijuana, thc through the roof, per plant, for a while now.Some area have toned that lying, self serving speil down in recent years, I've noticed. It's still the norm in most places though.Those "conservative estimates" have been making mountains out of molehills for so long... they've lost any touch with reality.
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Comment #12 posted by afterburner on June 03, 2008 at 05:49:44 PT
Who Has Shrinking Brains? Who Needs Tax Revenue? 
"Conservative estimates pegged the value of the county's illicit cash crop at $500 million, five times more than the dollars generated by the Mendocino wine industry."Duh!
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on June 03, 2008 at 05:47:13 PT
I saw a program on water on one of the Discovery Channels a while back. If we keep trying to grow crops in areas where there isn't enough water and suck the water out of underground lakes those areas will run out of water for the people. They were talking about an area of Texas that is pumping an underground lake dry trying to grow crops where they just wouldn't grow naturally. 
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Comment #10 posted by The GCW on June 03, 2008 at 05:16:48 PT
Water will be a serious issue for much of the west in the next many years. Towns, counties and states must fight to see that their citizens get the water they need, which isn't there for growing populations.Water is a growing concern and localities that do not vote for politicians who understand water issues well will suffer.This brings up another potential issue. Do the wine industry organizations feel threatened by cannabis? They compete for sales against people who may choose to use cannabis instead of wine but also wine growers may be competing even for the water to grow their products.Once cannabis becomes re-legalized, wine sales will likely decrease. And with more bud drinking water from the aquifer that leaves less water for the wine grower.Water is an inticate issue for the west which is an arid part of the country that has had water fights in the past that will become more heated in the future.I wonder if cannabist's drink more water to rid cotton mouth? How do water shortages effect the cannabis issue?
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on June 02, 2008 at 19:52:32 PT
We can live without oil even though it would be hard but we can't live without water. That's scary.
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Comment #8 posted by ekim on June 02, 2008 at 19:50:17 PT
wonder if one of these 40 is close to Mendocino
someone knows how much it takes to produce a usefull amount for a spray-- let alone other uses.US Clinical Trial Of Cannabis Spray For Cancer Pain Underway
November 29, 2007 - New York, NY, USANew York, NY: Forty medical centers across North America will take part in the first-ever US clinical trial assessing the efficacy of Sativex, an oral spray consisting of natural cannabis extracts, for the treatment of advanced cancer pain.
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Comment #7 posted by duzt on June 02, 2008 at 19:40:38 PT
water running out
We have lake mendocino as our water source and it is very low. Last year it ran dry, this year it is lower than last and the rain hasn't come. We also have vineyards everywhere and more going in so I don't quite get it. Water is going to become a big issue here soon.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on June 02, 2008 at 19:21:47 PT
It's ok to be angry when something doesn't turn out right. Relocating isn't easy. Can I ask what you mean by no water? 
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Comment #5 posted by duzt on June 02, 2008 at 19:15:34 PT
lost my train of thought
sorry, I didn't finish that sentence about mendo. The rest is a good place, beautiful scenery and people of all types. Ukiah just has a bunch of conservatives who own the paper and a most businesses here and they are very anti living in a county full of herb. No idea why they don't just leave, but they make it difficult to live here for sure.
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Comment #4 posted by duzt on June 02, 2008 at 19:12:37 PT
sorry for the negativity.....
yeah, I'm a bit bitter. This place has made me a much more angry person and that disappoints me. I'll be going back to the sierras next month and there are far more options for decent people. This place is all marijuana arguments all the time, while the school is losing teachers, there are no jobs, and no water. The rest of mendocino (inland Anderson Valley and the coast but Ukiah is a joke. Hopefully B will fail miserably and the anti group can spend 2 more years planning the next one. Hopefully the Kelley case won't be overturned and it won't matter.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on June 02, 2008 at 19:00:19 PT
I am sorry it isn't what you hoped it would be.
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Comment #2 posted by duzt on June 02, 2008 at 18:55:33 PT
my vote is in
I mailed mine in last month, 2 no on B votes in my house. To hell with Ukiah, can't wait to leave this place.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 02, 2008 at 18:26:33 PT
I wish our side good luck tomorrow.
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