Pot activists prepare to battle Nevada County marijuana ordinance | TheUnion.com

Pot activists prepare to battle Nevada County marijuana ordinance

Marijuana activists are planning to ask Nevada County voters to decide whether its marijuana cultivation ordinance should continue.

“If the board won’t listen to the people, the people will let the board know their wishes at the ballot box,” said Patricia Smith, president of the Nevada County chapter of Americans for Safe Access, in a recent press release.

The Nevada County chapter of Americans for Safe Access will discuss plans to “combat the county’s Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance” at the next membership meeting slated for today.

Smith said the local marijuana activist group’s attorney, Jeffrey Lake, will present a proposed ballot initiative later this week.

“If the board won’t listen to the people, the people will let the board know their wishes at the ballot box.”

— Patricia Smith,
Americans for Safe Access, Nevada County chapter president

ASA-NC recently conducted a comprehensive phone survey to ascertain the public support of cannabis cultivation in Nevada County, and preliminary results indicate 70 percent of the populace supports marijuana cultivation, the release states.

“I don’t think the (board of supervisors) realizes that when they rejected our requests for mediation … they were rejecting the citizens of Nevada County who overwhelmingly support our position,” Smith said.

Alison Barratt-Green said Monday that Lake offered a request for mediation, which was rejected by the county in closed session.

Last week, Barratt-Green’s office announced minor amendments to the cultivation ordinance relating to the ability for citizens to operate collectives and the identification of a point person for appeal hearings with the board of supervisors scheduled to vote on the changes during the March 26 regular meeting.

“The issue we wanted to clarify is that one can collectively cultivate as long as there is one person living on the property,” said Assistant County Counsel Marcos Kropf last week.

However, Smith said the amendments are insufficient.

The revised draft acknowledges the right of collective grows but does not increase the garden size based on the number of people in the collective, Smith said.

“Unless you live on 20 acres or more, the ordinance doesn’t allow enough room to grow for more than one patient — and unless you live on at least 10 acres, you do not have room to grow enough medicine for yourself,” she said. “Saying it’s OK and then not making allowances to accommodate additional members is deceptive at best.”

Barratt-Green said Monday the county is not considering any alterations to the ordinance that would accommodate demands for increased growing space for collectives.

Americans for Safe Access-Nevada County filed suit against Nevada County last May following the board’s approval (4-1 with Supervisor Terry Lamphier dissenting).

The case is set to go to trial May 14. The parties are set to return to court April 22 for a settlement conference.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email mrenda@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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