California County May Scrap Pro-Pot Law 

California County May Scrap Pro-Pot Law 
Posted by CN Staff on June 03, 2008 at 05:13:31 PT
By Ryan Flinn
California --  Dr. William Courtney says he has prescribed marijuana to more than 2,000 patients in Mendocino County, California, taking advantage of a measure passed eight years ago to decriminalize pot and allow the possession of as many as 25 plants.Residents of the county 140 miles north of San Francisco may make it harder for Courtney to continue the treatment. Today they vote on a plan to make recreational use of pot illegal again and to limit the number of plants allowed for medicinal purposes to six per person.
Measure B, as the proposal is known, ``would be an incredible step backward for the county,'' said Courtney, 55, who has an office in the town of Mendocino. ``Every one of my patients will be entrapped by Measure B -- as soon as they harvest, each one will become a felon.''Medical benefits aside, supporters of the proposal say the rural county of 88,000 residents erred when it became the first in the U.S. to legalize pot with its 2000 ordinance, called Measure G. They say it has spawned crime, drug cartels and teenage pot use, and scared off developers.``The fact that we passed Measure G makes us stand out like a sore thumb,'' said Dave Bengston, commissioner of Mendocino's Agriculture Department. ``It's a failed experiment, and I think it's time to reverse it.''Mendocino County, which encompasses 3,510 square miles of coastal mountains, redwood forests and beaches, epitomized the pot-friendly environment of northern California with Measure G, which went well beyond a state program allowing pot for medicinal purposes.  Character and Culture ``The character and culture of Mendocino is at a crossroads,'' said Laura Hamburg, spokeswoman for No on Measure B, a group that opposes the restrictions. ``Some say we need to bleach our culture so we can lure big development and get those $8- to $10-an-hour jobs.''Hamburg, 44, said she grew pot for a medical collective until her property was raided and she was arrested for having 39 plants. The charges were later dropped, she said.The law put the county at odds with the federal government, which doesn't recognize the state's approval of marijuana as medicine or Mendocino County's allowance of personal use. Authorities stage periodic raids of growers.Government agencies eradicated more pot plants from the Mendocino National Forest in 2006 than anywhere else in the country, according to the National Drug Intelligence Center, a component of the U.S. Justice Department, in a February 2007 report on domestic cannabis cultivation.  Aggressive Growers The county itself destroyed a record 334,000 marijuana plants last year, a 50 percent increase from 2006. The number of marijuana felony arrests in the county rose to 173, the most in a decade, in 2006, according to the most recent data available from California's Criminal Justice Statistics Center in Sacramento.Growers, particularly Mexican drug-traffickers in California and Washington, are becoming more aggressive in protecting cultivation sites, leading to an increase in the number of armed encounters between law enforcement and guards protecting the crops, the National Drug Intelligence Center said in the 2007 assessment.Critics of the proposal argue that it will open the door to crackdowns on so-called Mom and Pop growers.``Measure B will place our lives in danger as law enforcement will enter homes, and spend their efforts to find any amount of plants over six,'' said a hand-scrawled, anti- Measure B flyer at Twist, an organic and hemp clothing store on Main Street in Mendocino. ``Please don't let the fears of the Measure B proponents take away the security of our citizens to provide for their health and safety.''  Reeking of Pot The proposal ``provides a voter mandate for reasonable protections, while not interfering with legitimate medical marijuana,'' according to the Web site of the Yes on B Coalition, a group pushing for passage.Kathy James, former president of the Ukiah Unified School District Board of Education, said the 2000 law should be scrapped because it has contributed to widespread marijuana use among students.``I think it's very prevalent, and it's considered no big deal,'' said James, 60. ``They'll say `it helps with my anger, my sore back from wrestling, it keeps me calm.'''Young people are also finding jobs with marijuana growers, she said. Several students have been sent home from school because they reeked of marijuana after harvesting the plants, she said.  Marijuana Haven  Bengston, the agriculture commissioner, said he's concerned business developers will bypass Mendocino because of its reputation as a marijuana haven. With the county's $90 million grape harvest suffering its worst bout of frost in 45 years, the salmon season canceled statewide because of a drop in the fish population, and the timber industry continuing to decline, the county needs to attract new industries, he said.County Sheriff Tom Allman also supports today's proposal. If Measure G passes, ``I think what will happen is that people will say, `Wow, Mendocino County isn't full of Mr. and Mrs. Cheech and Chong,''' Allman said.Complete Title: California County May Scrap Pro-Pot Law Amid Furor Over Crime Source: (USA)Author: Ryan FlinnPublished: June 3, 2008Copyright: 2008 Bloomberg L.P.Contact: hprzybyla bloomberg.netWebsite: Articles:Cloud of Questions Surrounds Measure B Aims To Curb MJ Growing in Mendocino is Burning Issue on Mendocino Ballot
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on June 04, 2008 at 08:32:39 PT
Here you go.Excerpt: With 100 percent of the precincts reporting at 12:35 a.m. Wednesday, Measure B was winning 52.15 percent to 47.85 percent. The Elections Office recorded a 34.94 percent turnout for the election and counted 16,436 ballots.Provisional ballots remain to be counted.
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on June 04, 2008 at 08:30:02 PT
At least it's a vote the "masters" won't ignore.
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on June 03, 2008 at 22:28:37 PT
Measure B
Has anyone... Duzt, perhaps, heard what the results of the vote are? They're probably all in and counted by now.
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on June 03, 2008 at 22:26:24 PT
Laura Hamburg is against Measure B.
``The character and culture of Mendocino is at a crossroads,'' said Laura Hamburg, spokeswoman for No on Measure B, a group that opposes the restrictions. ``Some say we need to bleach our culture so we can lure big development and get those $8- to $10-an-hour jobs.''
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Comment #7 posted by afterburner on June 03, 2008 at 20:37:27 PT
dongenero #5 
McJobs are a deliberate corporatist plan to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. The neo-cons (also called neo-liberals in South America) have been conning people with this quasi-slavery for thirty years in countries around the world. - documented in The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein.
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Comment #6 posted by John Tyler on June 03, 2008 at 20:31:51 PT
right thinking
No one can support himself or herself on a $10 an hour job. Thatís what you pay a kid to mow your lawn. That is a joke, especially when the previous article said the cannabis industry was worth $500,000,000. Why do the Measure B folks want to keep their neighbors in poverty? They should be glad they have such a budding industry. They are proud of their wine industry. They should be proud of their cannabis industry too. Northern Californian cannabis is famous. Mendocino Cannabis is practically a brand name. Their thinking is not right at all on this matter.  
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Comment #5 posted by dongenero on June 03, 2008 at 11:46:48 PT
$8-$10 dollar jobs?
I don't really understand why they need to bring in poverty level jobs.And the thought of some developer saying, "Sheeesh, I could make millions of dollars developing Medocino but, it's a marijuana haven" and then walking laughable, no, ridiculous.
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Comment #4 posted by runruff on June 03, 2008 at 09:42:14 PT:
These posts... Dongenero's and Museman's and Hope.
About Museman's: It is as I have noticed by reading American history. All we wanted was free enterprise. A chance for everyone to make a living unfettered and without interference by government. Then the Civil war and war profiteers ingratiated themselves into federal government and created a term; capitalism. After the turn of the century with industry, steel and oil, manic greed became the norm and we coined a term; predatory capitalism. The problem is we as a nation have become comfortable with this even though it victimizes most of the population by seeing us and using us as consumers instead of human beings. I have a problem with this. I think this way of conducting commerce created the Cheney's, Clinton's and the Bush's of the world. I don't think the planet or civilization can continue like this much longer.
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on June 03, 2008 at 08:46:31 PT
These posts... Dongenero's and Museman's...
are so intelligent and wise. I can't understand how these people that are so greedily craving and lusting after "developers" to destroy their beaches and forests and those that think going after "mom and pop" and medicinal growers will stop cartels even manage to get their shoes on the right feet in the mornings.
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Comment #2 posted by museman on June 03, 2008 at 07:44:55 PT
What they really mean
 ``Some say we need to bleach our culture so we can lure big development and get those $8- to $10-an-hour jobs.''"Don't it always seem to go, you don't know what you got til its gone, they paved paradise, and put up a parking lot."This amerikan beast of capitalism has got to die I tell you.
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Comment #1 posted by dongenero on June 03, 2008 at 07:31:01 PT
mexican cartels afraid of measure B?
Well, I'm sure that when they pass this regressive measure it will send the Mexican organized crime cartels running!
Yea, that'll show 'em!.....Really, in Mexico the cartels just murder the opposition.Let's use our heads here, the Mexican cartels growing large scale commercial grows on public land is not what has been legalized here. The cartel grows happen because of prohibition. And that will continue long after any measure B is passed.Here's an idea, why not allow private citizens to grow a regulated amount for personal use...........and then use the vast, otherwise uncontrolled DEA to go after massive crime cartel grows in the national forests? Or, legalize and regulate across the board and the money drops out of the equation by about 20 fold, then the cartels go away and concentrate on cocaine and heroin. You diminish and concentrate their overall market and they become easier to target.
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