Down goes W: Voters reject Measure W in Nevada County |

Down goes W: Voters reject Measure W in Nevada County

Opposers of Measure W celebrate at the Golden Era in Nevada City Tuesday night.
Laura Mahaffy/ | The Union


No: 15,845 (58%)

Yes: 11,585 votes (42%)

With 80 of 80 precincts reporting

Measure W, the contentious outdoor marijuana ban initiative that dominated this election, appeared to be headed for defeat Tuesday night.

The measure was losing 15,845 to 11,585 votes, or 58 to 42 percent, with 80 of 80 precincts reporting. Although more votes remain to be counted. Officials reported at 11:29 p.m., that 27,852 out of a possible 66,178 voters (42 percent) cast ballots.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Jonathan Collier, chairman of the Nevada County California Growers Association. “It’s really amazing. This creates the opportunity that we’ve been hoping for.”

Forrest Hurd, the father of a boy with intractable epilepsy who Hurd says is helped by medical cannabis, praised the vote.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s really amazing. This creates the opportunity that we’ve been hoping for.”Jonathan Collierchairman of the Nevada County California Growers Association.

“Now we can move forward, protecting our land, protecting our rivers,” Hurd said.

Measure W, if passed, would have implemented a voter approved outdoor medical marijuana grow ban and limited indoor grows to 12 plants. It would have restricted growers to qualified patients or their caregivers, and prohibited all commercial marijuana activity.

Supervisor Dan Miller, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, is a strong supporter of Measure W.

“If W does fail, we’re obligated and we’ve already told people we’ll lift the ban after the vote is certified,” Miller said.

“They ran a very aggressive, organized campaign,” Miller said of W’s opponents.

Measure W became the top issue for many voters across Nevada County. Opponents of the ban crowded into the Board of Supervisors’ chambers on Jan. 12, when supervisors implemented the existing ban and put Measure W on the ballot. Opponents again filled chambers when supervisors passed a resolution of intent that states they’d rescind their ban if Measure W failed and work with stakeholders on creating new grow regulations.

The measure also led Hurd to challenge the ballot initiative in court. He succeeded in forcing the county to rewrite its impartial analysis of the measure, though the initiative remained on the ballot.

Money began pouring into political committees on both sides of the issue, leading to advertisements and signs across the county. Complaints of sign theft quickly became common on social media sites like Facebook. Some people began posting photos, alleging they caught a thief in the act.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

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