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Council Supports Repeal of Measure G


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The letter was placed on the council's agenda in response to a timed item on the issue set for about 1:45 p.m. at Tuesday's Mendocino County Board of Supervisors meeting in the board's chambers.

On Nov. 8, 2000, Mendocino County voters approved Measure G, a resolution calling for the decriminalization of personal use and cultivation of marijuana, by a vote of 58 percent.

At the Dec. 11 Board of Supervisors meeting, the board voted 3-2 to restrict the number of marijuana plants allowed on any one parcel of land to 25, regardless of the number of qualified patients residing there.

Ukiah City Councilmember John McCowen said rolling back the amount of marijuana allowed in the county to the state limits would not hinder patients obtaining the medicine, but would be a first step to curbing rampant abuses.

"It has become evident to a lot of people that the 25-plant limit has allowed commercial growing," he said. "If we affirm the 25 plants per parcel rule, that still would mean you would have enough for four patients grown on one parcel. You'd be entitled to the 25 only if you had enough patients living there."

According to NORML, the current state limits are defined under Senate Bill 420, which was signed into law in October 2003 and took effect on Jan. 1, 2004. Under S.B. 420, qualified patients and/or their primary caregivers may possess no more than eight ounces of dried marijuana and/or six mature, or 12 immature, marijuana plants. The bill also allows patients to possess larger amounts of marijuana when such quantities are recommended by a physician.

During public comment, local Green Party chairman Richard Johnson, who helped author Measure G, said the decision to draft the letter was in effect giving the board carte blanche to do what it pleased.

"What you're doing now is giving a blank check to an initiative to which you're only given sketchy verbal details on," he said.

Johnson said associating Measure G with medical marijuana is wrongheaded, as the language never refers to its remedial uses.

"Measure G does not regulate medical marijuana," he said. "Measure G does not mention medical marijuana. It's about cultivation and possession for personal use."

Vice-mayor Phil Baldwin said that since Measure G went into effect, a growing criminal element has gravitated toward the county as a direct result.

"Marijuana-related crime has increased significantly since Measure G was passed," he said. "When Measure G passed, people moved their operations from Humboldt to northern Mendocino County because the perception was that it was legal here...This is one source of income that is simply not being taxed."

Source: Ukiah Daily Journal (CA)
Copyright: 2008 The Daily Journal
Contact: udjrb@pacific.net
Website: Ukiah Daily Journal - Mendocino County's local newspaper
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