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Amended Pot Weight Limits Nixed


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Supes reject call to amend pot weight limits

On a 2-3 vote, the board of supervisors rejected a request by Fifth District Supervisors David Colfax to reconsider last week's reaffirmation of the plant count limit implied in Measure G, the Nov. 2000 county wide ballot measure that ostensibly sets the legal adult female marijuana plant count at 25 plants.

Colfax told his fellow board members that he wanted to the board to reconsider the motion not to change the plant count, but to amend the weight allowance, which was set at two pounds.

Colfax explained that, in last week's board action on medical marijuana, the language setting the legal limit for dried marijuana that could be in any person's possession was appended to Colfax's motion at the last minute, and was passed without adequate discussion.

"The record shows that discussion was on the number of plants that would be permitted," Colfax said, "There was virtually no discussion on the number of pounds. In that sense, we did not have a full and adequate discussion. And so when I said, 'Let's reduce it down to two for the number of pounds,' I don't think I was being true to Measure G.

"The amount of dried marijuana (that should be permissible) cannot be determined by Measure G," Colfax said.

Sections 5, 6, and 7 of Measure G, as submitted to the voters in the summer and fall of 2000, states that "25 or fewer adult flowering female marijuana plants, or the equivalent in dried marijuana" shall be, in effect, legal in Mendocino County, and shall not be grounds for any enforcement actions by sheriff's deputies, and shall not be prosecuted by the district attorney.

Assuming one pound of dried product per plant, a 25 plant limit should yield 25 pounds of dried marijuana; assuming that an average marijuana plant yields half a pound of dried product, then the dried equivalent would be 12 and a half pounds.

During discussions on medical marijuana held on August 7, Supervisor Colfax was quite peremptory in his attempts to high-jack discussions on the work that had been done by the Criminal Justice Committee since late January of this year. As soon as committee chairman Jim Wattenburger had made his introductory remarks, Colfax made a formal motion that the board "reasserts the law and enforce the law, which specifies 25 plants under conditions that are clearly laid out in measures that were brought before the public, and possession of no more than two pounds."

At the August 14th meeting, Colfax said that he regretted his action. "It may have been a senior moment, or a junior moment, or maybe it was just an I.Q. moment," he quipped. The two pound limit was established by former Sheriff Tony Craver and former District Attorney Norm Vroman.

Efforts to limit discussion on Tuesday to whether the board should revisit the issue more or less failed, and people and board members frequently talked about how the two pound limit was either fair or unfair.

District Attorney Meredith Lintott told the board that she favored keeping the limit where it now is, at 25 plants and 2 pounds. "25 plants is four times the state limit, and 2 pounds is four times the state limit," Lintott reminded the board.

Mendocino County Medical Marijuana Advisory Board member Pebbles Trippet accused board chair Kendall Smith of deliberately limiting the area of discussion last week to the number of plants. "Because you said, 'This is what is on the table. It's plant count, that is what we are talking about,' because you said that, then that is what everybody talked about," Trippet said. She then asked Smith if she would admit having said those words.

Smith admitted that she did say them, and explained that what she meant was that the board would not be discussing other aspects of the Criminal Justice Committee's draft resolution on medical marijuana, including such items as dispensary regulation and guidelines on pesticide and herbicide use.

"If two pounds stands, it's a bust," Trippet fumed. "You cannot be that inconsistent and expect to have any credibility."

John Pinches said he wanted to leave well enough alone. "Frankly, I'm not interested in revisiting this. I don't want to get into an area where we are rewarding people." Pinches also said he felt satisfied with what the board had done last week. "For the first time in forty years we have clarity on this. Law enforcement knows what the limit is, the DA knows what the limit is, and the people know what the limit is. If there's something not right with this, we can always come back later on and take a look at it. But I think we ought to give a chance to work now and see how it turns out."

First District Supervisor Michael Delbar said that he would be willing to reconsider only on the condition that Colfax would be willing to open up discussion once again on plant count. When Colfax shook his head no, Delbar said he would then be voting no on reconsideration.

The vote was then taken, and it failed, 2-3, with Delbar, Wattenburger and Pinches voting in the majority.

News Mod: CoZmO - 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: The Willits News (Willits, CA)
Author: Mike A'Dair
Contact: madair@willitsnews.com
Copyright: 2007 The Willits News
Website: The Willits News - Amended pot weight limits nixed
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