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Most Mendocino Voters Favor Pot Law Repeal


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The findings reflect what political and community leaders view as a "sea change" among county residents, who for 30 years seemingly tolerated small-scale marijuana cultivation. A backlash has emerged in the face of the county's growing national reputation as a haven for marijuana growers, and large-scale commercial growing operations.

"There's been a huge shift," county Supervisor John Pinches said this week.

Pinches and three board colleagues voted Tuesday to put the issue of whether Measure G should be repealed on the June 3 primary ballot, a move advocated by a countywide citizens group. Board members were presented with copies of the pot poll results before their vote.

San Francisco pollster Kevin Brown said Thursday that the poll's margin of error was 3.9 percent.

"The poll has a 95 percent confidence rating," he said.

Brown works for Dresner, Wickers & Associates, an international political consulting firm whose client list includes Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Dresner firm was hired by Ukiah businessman Ross Liberty and other organizers of a local drive to repeal the county measure. Measure G garnered national attention in 2000 when it was overwhelmingly passed by a 58-32 percent margin.

But Measure G since has been blamed for the county's soaring marijuana production and crime-related issues. Critics contend Measure G also opened the door for local liberal law enforcement policies surrounding the proliferation of pot cultivation under the guise of medical marijuana.

Medical marijuana advocate Pebbles Trippet said Thursday she fears the rights of legitimate users of marijuana for medical reasons risk being trampled in a rush to crack down on commercial dope-growing operations.

"There's a huge difference, and that's getting lost in the debate," she said.

Liberty said the poll results indicate a rising tide of public opposition to Measure G and marijuana cultivation in the county.

Liberty said he hopes the June election will provide a margin of victory so significant that "local politicians will know that voters no longer feel marijuana cultivation is benign."

Source: Press Democrat,The (Santa Rosa,CA)
Copyright: 2008 Press Democrat
Contact: letters@pressdemo.com
Website: Santa Rosa Press Democrat
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