Yuba County pot protest goes to state SC
Special to The Union
The Yuba Patients Coalition has followed through on its intent to challenge Yuba County’s new marijuana cultivation ordinance in the state Supreme Court.
San Francisco-based attorney Joe Elford has filed a writ of mandate and prohibition with the Supreme Court against the ordinance. Elford represents Yuba Patients Coalition and six individuals in the county.
The action, filed late Friday afternoon, seeks a court order forcing county election officials to accept petitions for a voter referendum and to halt enforcement of the new law.
The Supreme Court has 90 days to act on the filing. The court could summarily deny the petition as was done when a similar writ was filed with the Sacramento-based 3rd District Court of Appeal. It could also issue an alternative writ that would require a response from the county or it could refer it to the appellate court to order a response, Elford said.
The filing is the latest development in a series of legal challenges to Yuba County’s marijuana cultivation ordinance that bans outdoor growing. Still pending in Yuba County Superior Court is the initial suit seeking a ruling that the new ordinance is unconstitutional, along with a permanent injunction.
Woodrow George Powers, Patty Mowery, Theresa Morris, George Benson, Norma Hutchins and Eric Salerno also are listed as plaintiffs in the Supreme Court filing.
Separately, 11 statewide medical marijuana proponents have filed paperwork with the state seeking a statewide constitutional amendment to go before voters. Proponents submitting the paperwork include Salerno, Rick Fenton of Olivehurst and Kathie Thelen, a candidate last year for Yuba County supervisor.
The proposed Compassionate and Sensible Access Act would ban any state or local agency from adopting a law that “burdens in any way the ability of doctors to recommend cannabis for medicinal and/or therapeutic purposes …” It would also prohibit passage of any laws “which impedes a patients ability to obtain or cultivate cannabis…”
According to the state Secretary of State’s website, it would require 585,407 statewide signatures to place a constitutional amendment initiative on the November 2016 ballot.
Erik Vodden is a reporter with the Marysville Appeal-Democrat.
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