Nevada County marijuana: Judge makes no changes to Measure W; another hearing this Thursday
March 31, 2016
A Nevada County judge on Tuesday ordered no further changes to the impartial analysis for Measure W, setting the stage for another hearing on the issue this Thursday.
Superior Court Judge Candace S. Heidelberger declined to order county officials to stop the ballot printing process or remove Measure W from the June 7 election. She did, however, set another hearing on the outdoor grow ban initiative for 1 p.m. Thursday at the Nevada County Courthouse.
Attorneys on both sides will prepare written arguments in advance of the hearing, where a final decision is expected.
Tuesday's emergency hearing stemmed from Forrest Hurd's efforts to remove Measure W from the ballot. Alternatively, Hurd wants the revised impartial analysis for the measure and the ballot initiative itself amended.
“Even though the Court did not grant the emergency injunction today, it is clear Measure W mandates compliance with federal law, setting patients up for failure. It’s a badly drafted law, from start to finish. We hope the Court agrees with us on Thursday.”attorney Heather Burke in a release
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In his latest court filing, Hurd argues that Measure W requires all cannabis cultivation be in accordance with federal, state and local law. No cultivation is allowed under federal law, which would make it illegal to grow in Nevada County under Measure W.
"That may not be the intended purpose," argued attorney Heather Burke, who's representing Hurd. "But this is what happens under operation of law."
Amanda Uhrhammer, deputy county counsel, said U.S. attorneys have priorities when prosecuting drug offenses, noting enforcement carve-outs exist for states with marijuana cultivation laws.
Additionally, Uhrhammer said that Hurd should have raised the issue of Measure W conflicting with federal law before his latest court filing.
"In essence, this is something that should have been raised before," she added. "The impartial analysis says what it's supposed to."
The father of an 8-year-old boy with intractable epilepsy, Hurd argues that Measure W's complete outdoor ban on marijuana grows and 12-plant indoor limitation would make it impossible for his son to get his medicine.
Hurd last week gained a victory when Heidelberger prohibited the county from printing ballots until it fixed errors in the impartial analysis. County attorneys complied and a new, 10-day review period for the corrected analysis began. That period ends this Sunday.
"Even though the Court did not grant the emergency injunction today, it is clear Measure W mandates compliance with federal law, setting patients up for failure," Burke said in a release. "It's a badly drafted law, from start to finish. We hope the Court agrees with us on Thursday."
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4239.