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Medical Marijuana in Nevada County

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In this era of viral political discord where neither side is open to the ideology of the opposing party, my encounter with Sheriff Keith Royal and District Attorney Cliff Newell at the zoning board's council meeting to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in Nevada County was encouraging.

When we introduced ourselves, I made it clear that we were on opposite sides of the fence on this issue. To my amazement, both the sheriff and D.A. remained friendly and courteous when I had expected them to back away as if I were Typhoid Mary.

Often we tend to associate with people of a like mind. As a patient consultant, I know I see medical marijuana from a totally different perspective than the sheriff, who must deal with people trying to circumvent the law. That we could find some common ground was a step toward developing a rational policy dealing with medical marijuana.

The question remains how to get quality medicine to residents of Nevada County while curtailing the illegal growers who are selling their product out of state or here on the streets. It's easy to adopt a nimby (not in my backyard) attitude toward dispensaries; it is far more difficult to draft an ordinance that gives patients access without creating a nuisance factor. But it can be done.

Right now, a patient has few options for legally obtaining marijuana in Nevada County. One option is to grow their own (which takes an unreasonably long amount of time to accomplish when one needs their medicine now) or to join a collective. Unfortunately, many older patients do not have access to finding a collective. Perhaps a registry could be established to match patients with legal collectives operating in our county.

Otherwise a patient must find a reputable dispensary to supply their meds, which is more difficult than it sounds given the glut of dispensaries operating today. I'm the first to admit that 90 percent of the dispensaries should be put out of business.

The same goes for most growers. Most of them are in it strictly for the money and care little for the well-being of the patients who truly benefit from marijuana therapy. The industry is a little late in imposing self-regulation and has created a "stoner party" image that is an insult to serious patients.

The other 10 percent serve their communities well. A good dispensary looks like a medical office from the outside (which it is) rather than a head shop or strip bar staffed with scantily clad, buxom beauties. A good dispensary is staffed with professional employees who are well versed in the various strains of marijuana and know which strains alleviate which symptoms.

Ordinances have been drafted by several communities lately that include requirements that all of the products distributed through the dispensary must be lab-tested for quality and purity. This measure eliminates the bad growers who use toxic chemicals and pesticides from pushing their products on unsuspecting patients.

Unfortunately, very few dispensaries are willing to spend the money to test their products. A few dispensaries in Sacramento have lab-tested strains, but more often a patient has to travel to the Bay Area to obtain quality meds. This is an undo hardship for elderly or terminally ill patients.

Mendocino has enacted a certification program where each grower must comply with certain strict ordinances. Zip ties are purchased from the sheriff's office for $50 each and must be attached to each plant. There are restrictions on the amount of plants that can be grown on one site and limits to the size of the footprint that the garden can occupy. Growers have to demonstrate that they have the patient base to justify the amount of plants they are cultivating or that they are growing exclusively for a certain dispensary. This would separate the legal from the illegal grows and make law enforcement's efforts easier.

Third party certification programs are available to make sure that growers use environmentally sound procedures to produce their crops. Together with lab-testing, this ensures the patient of a quality product. Growers not willing to follow these requirements should look for another line of work.

I don't know how many plants are currently being grown in Nevada County, but my guess is at $50 each, it would go a long way toward closing the gap in our budget deficit and perhaps save the jobs of scores of teachers, firemen or police.


News Hawk- Jacob Ebel 420 MAGAZINE
Source: theunion.com
Author: Patricia Smith
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: Swift Communications, Inc.
Website: Medical marijuana in Nevada County


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Jacob you are so right, nothing in Nevada County, closest place is in Colfax. They however have just begun to test for content, pestisides, insects, etc.
with exspensive safeguards that in place, the growers with little concern for the patient will be "Weeded" out in due course. I like the idea of a legal tag on the plant, like a deer tag it could be numbered, and issued to a single grower, track it from issue to harvest, No tag, you're in the bag. At $ 50 a tag, we could not only keep the Firemen, Police, Sherrifs, & Teachers we could probably fix all the roads in Nevada County too.
Sorry just a little rant.
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