Nevada County supervisors to publicly state intent on marijuana vote in February after confusion
The chairman of the Nevada County Board of Supervisors says he wants voters to decide on the legality of growing marijuana outdoors.
The problem, however, is that voter intentions won’t match the outcome if growers win at the polls June 7.
An urgency ordinance passed Tuesday by the board prohibits all outdoor grows and limits indoor grows to 12 plants. The election this June will decide if that ban, which allows only civil penalties, becomes a voter-passed initiative.
Supporters of outdoor grows wouldn’t win if they prevail at the ballot box, however. A win for growers means only that the ballot language isn’t passed. There is no language in the ballot measure to return to permitted outdoor growing. Instead the urgency ordinance would remain in place, as first reported by YubaNet.com Thursday.
“If we were wrong on how it was framed, then we will make it right,” board Chairman Dan Miller said. “There is no way this board will ever bypass the will of the voters.
“The last thing I want is our credibility or our trust challenged,” he added.
According to county counsel Alison Barratt-Green, supervisors in February will vote on a resolution stating their intent.
“There is some confusion on that point,” she added.
The public will have the chance to comment at that meeting.
The board would take no action if voters uphold the urgency ordinance at the ballot box. It would, however, re-examine that ordinance if it fails.
“I think it was just a lack of clarity,” Barratt-Green said. “The question never came up.”
“Whatever message the voters send in June will drive what the regulations ultimately look like,” she added.
Sheriff Keith Royal agreed.
“I don’t think there was ever an intent to not lay everything on the table,” Royal said. “It was probably just an oversight. We want what the intent of the public is. If they don’t want this, the ordinance goes away.”
The sheriff said an overturn of the ban could lead to the formation of a committee that would search for alternatives to an outright prohibition on outdoor grows.
The board’s Tuesday vote on the ordinance and call for election caused hundreds of people to attend the meeting. The public comment period lasted over three hours. Most speakers opposed the ban.
Royal and several others pointed to the nuisance marijuana grows create, citing the pungent smell, increase in traffic and crimes like water theft.
Opponents dismissed those claims, arguing they want to obey the law.
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.
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