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Sutter County In Haze About Medical Pot

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A day after Sutter County supervisors narrowly turned down a proposed nuisance ordinance for medical marijuana, board members on both sides of the issue said they would still like to see something happen.

Supervisor Larry Munger, who supported the ordinance, said he has a simple solution when someone calls him to complain about a neighbor's grow site: Give them phone numbers for the supervisors who opposed the proposal.

"I have a lot of constituents who were really counting on this ordinance," said Munger, who with Supervisor Stan Cleveland supported the ordinance, which had been discussed and revised at a series of hearings. "I don't know what happened, personally."

But Supervisor Jim Whiteaker, who with supervisors Larry Montna and James Gallagher voted against the ordinance, said he's working with Sutter County Sheriff J. Paul Parker to come up with an ordinance he can support.

The rejected ordinance allowed for far too many marijuana plants to be grown, Whiteaker said, and he couldn't support that.

"I have spoken today with Sheriff Parker, and will be working directly with him to propose an ordinance that will meet the needs of the individuals with medical marijuana cards, will meet the needs of law enforcement, and will address the nuisance issues of smells and proximity of marijuana gardens to schools, recreational areas, and child care facilities," Whiteaker said in an email.

He said his proposed ordinance would allow no more than 12 mature plants, regardless of the size of the parcel they were grown on; additional requirements for growing either indoors or in a filtrated greenhouse; required setbacks from neighboring properties; and residency for all medicinal card holders.

In introducing the ordinance on Tuesday at the supervisors meeting, interim County Administrative Officer Shawne Corley said she would later introduce an ordinance to establish a card program for those legally able to use medicinal marijuana.

Sutter County is one of the last counties in the state to adopt such a program, after court rulings determined counties had an obligation to do so.

But after the ordinance's rejection, the card issue is considered on hold as well, said county spokesman Chuck Smith.

"At this time, the chief administrative officer's office does not intend to bring medical marijuana up again," he said.

But Munger said without an ordinance, the issue will come up again.

"We've got to have something with teeth," he said, adding he believes an ordinance would also curb those who are growing for reasons other than medicinal. "The city's got one, Live Oak's got one, everybody's got one."


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Source: appeal-democrat.com
Author: Ben Van Der Meer
Contact: How can we help you? : Appeal-Democrat
Website: Sutter County in haze about medical pot | ordinance, county, marijuana - Appeal-Democrat
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