Fortuna Police Chief Wants City Council To Take A Stand On Med Pot Guidelines

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FORTUNA -- Police Chief Kent Bradshaw wants the City Council to take a
stand in the debate over how much medical marijuana Humboldt County
residents should be allowed to possess.

The City Council meets 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 621 11th
St.

At the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors meeting 14 hours later,
the supervisors will take up a request to adopt guidelines allowing
medical marijuana patients to possess up to 3 pounds of dried buds per
year and cultivate up to 99 plants in a 100-square-foot area.

These guidelines are too liberal, said Bradshaw, the county's
longest-serving police chief.

"The duly elected and very competent sheriff of this county does not
need enforcement direction from the Board of Supervisors in this
matter," Bradshaw said in his report to the council.

A new state law that took effect Jan. 1 sets much lower possession and
cultivation limits: a maximum of 8 ounces of dried cannabis and no
more than six mature or 12 immature plants.

However, the new law, SB 420, does allow local jurisdictions to adopt
guidelines that exceed the state's limits.

Supervisor Roger Rodoni, who represents the southern Humboldt County,
is introducing the ordinance to the Board of Supervisors.

The guidelines mirror those already set by District Attorney Paul
Gallegos for law enforcement.

"As far as I am concerned," Bradshaw said in his report, " there is no
reason to enact this ordinance, except to exceed 420's more limited
guidelines. Passage of this ordinance will only give credence to the
district attorney's guidelines, as he will be able to say he is
following the county ordinance."

Bradshaw's agenda item asks the City Council to discuss the issue and
take "action to establish (a) position" on the proposed guidelines.

California voters passed the Compassionate Marijuana Act in 1996,
allowing patients who obtain a doctor's recommendation to use cannabis
for medical purposes.

"Federal law does not recognize the Compassionate Marijuana Act of
California and still considers marijuana an illegal drug," Bradshaw
said.


Pubdate: Sun, 18 Jan 2004
Source: Times-Standard (Eureka, CA)
Copyright: 2004 MediaNews Group, Inc.
Contact: editor@times-standard.com
Website: Eureka Times-Standard: Breaking News, Sports, Business, Entertainment & Eureka News