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Thread: Curb on Growing Marijuana Sought

  1. #1
    Fallen Cannabis Warrior Medical Marijuana's Avatar
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    Curb on Growing Marijuana Sought

    WILLITS - Voters in this rugged stretch of Northern California took marijuana laws to new heights in 2000, allowing residents to grow up to 25 marijuana plants for medical, recreational or personal use. But eight years later, some are campaigning to scale back the law, saying it's time to weed out pot profiteers.

    "We want to take that welcome mat away," said Ross Liberty, spokesman for Measure B, which goes before Mendocino County voters Tuesday.

    Opponents say they, too, want to evict large-scale, criminal operators, but they say Measure B won't address that issue and will instead go after the people who need medical marijuana.

    "What (Measure) B does is redefines who gets arrested and the who' will be medical patients that are growing more than six plants," said Laura Hamburg, who became active in the No on B campaign after her medical marijuana garden was raided.

    The issue offers a glimpse into the murky world of medical marijuana in California, legal under state law, banned by federal law, and according to some reports, bringing some serious green into the Golden State. Using marijuana for medical purposes has been legal in California since 1996, when voters passed Proposition 215, but that law had only a sketchy mechanism for how marijuana would be produced and dispensed.

    State lawmakers subsequently allowed counties to issue ID cards to protect medical users from being prosecuted by local authorities. Each cardholder is allowed to have up to a half pound of dried marijuana or six mature marijuana plants, although local governments can set laws exceeding the state's limits. Meanwhile, federal authorities, who never recognized Proposition 215 and deny that marijuana has medicinal properties, have won a number of legal showdowns over the measure.

    In 2000, Mendocino County voters approved Measure G, which had a 25-plant limit and permitted personal and recreational use, the latter a symbolic gesture since neither state nor federal laws allow personal pot use. The new law, Measure B, would repeal Measure G and set plant limits at state levels. (It's not entirely clear what that will mean since state guidelines are at issue in a Southern California court case. The No on B side interprets the case as undermining Measure B. The Yes side disagrees, noting the case is under appeal.)

    Sheriff Tom Allman says the problem with Measure G is it gave the impression marijuana had been legalized in Mendocino County.

    "There's this perception that we're just a bunch of Cheech and Chong marijuana growers up here," Allman said.

    Blessed by ancient redwood groves and bordered by a breathtakingly beautiful coast, Mendocino County has long also been famous as a source of high-grade pot. Estimates on how much money is generated by marijuana in Mendocino County and statewide vary; officials say it's hard to come up with a definite total since so much of the industry is undercover.

    Figures from the state's Campaign Against Marijuana Planting show more than 220,000 plants were seized in Mendocino County last year, up from about 136,000 the year before. Statewide, CAMP reported seizures of 2.9 million plants with an estimated wholesale value of $11.6 billion.

    Hamburg, the daughter of former Rep. Dan Hamburg, grows medical marijuana for herself, her mother and her sister as well as a neighbour. She argues that it's not Measure G that spurs marijuana growth in Mendocino County but its climate, topography and the institutional knowledge gleaned from decades of marijuana farming. But Allman and others say cannabis became a lot less covert here after Measure G passed.

    "It's in your face bad," said Allman.

    On the other side of the Measure B issue are George and Jean Hanamoto. Carefully tended shrubs bloom in their front garden on a wooded hillside in Mendocino County. And in the backyard are their marijuana plants.

    Hanamoto, who is 74 and uses marijuana to relieve glaucoma and back pain, said cutting plant limits to six would hurt people like him because growing conditions mean he can't always get the maximum out of each plant.

    Allman says the Hanamotos aren't the kind of people he'll be sending deputies after. He said he will continue to concentrate on large operations.

    Source: Ventura County Star (CA)
    Copyright: 2008 The E.W. Scripps Co.
    Contact: letters@venturacountystar.com
    Website: VenturaCountyStar.com : Ventura County, California, News, Business, Homes, Jobs, Cars & Information

  2. #2
    420 Member Strive4Wisdom's Avatar
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    Re: Curb on Growing Marijuana Sought

    I think it would be more than reasonable to have some dept. of sorts come to residences and make sure the medical user is following guidelines. Make sure they arent exceeding the doctors recommendation and have a safe electrical set-up.

    Maybe come with a checklist and as long as you have proper documentation and follow rules then you get a pass until your next checkup...? Sounds good to me.

    With a system like that in place there is no need to completely lower limits for all users. Illegal commercial grow ops are no reason to hinder the progress of the patients and caregivers working within the guidelines.
    "The longest journey is the journey inwards of him who has chosen his destiny, who has started upon his quest for the source of his being." - Dag Hammarskjold

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    Human Resources Keith Lake's Avatar
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    Re: Curb on Growing Marijuana Sought

    Though I hate to come down on the side of restriction, I think the greater risk is giving the prohibitionist this easy target.

    Profiteers could cause the public opinion to move in the wrong direction.

    We don't want to lose the great gains that have been made with respect to reasonable use & grow limits for personal amounts