Lee Nold-Lewis: Misguided government | TheUnion.com

Lee Nold-Lewis: Misguided government

Whether you are for or against medical cannabis, you must stand for wise decisions that can be enforced. Unnecessary laws which cannot be modified for decades serve no one in Nevada County on either side of this issue.

The board of supervisors finds themselves caught up in a controversy of their own making. No one has been able to quantify the number of complaints made about cannabis. This board of supervisors has taken a position to punish cannabis growers who didn’t comply with Measure S guidelines, according to Dan Miller.

The board of supervisors’ unwise decision has resulted in a costly ballot initiative — costly to all of us taxpayers — and an initiative that will require another ballot initiative if it is to be overturned in future decades — at yet another cost to us taxpayers — approximately $70,000-plus.

It is not wise to lock in future boards of supervisors and the citizens of Nevada County to a position on cannabis and a cost required if any shift in position is taken.

It is not wise to lock in future boards of supervisors and the citizens of Nevada County to a position on cannabis and a cost required if any shift in position is taken.

The landscape of medical cannabis is changing daily in our country and yet Nevada County is locking us all in for future decades. Counties such as Placer are embracing cannabis and finding ways to work with growers, treating them as any other business.

The majority of people with medical cannabis businesses want to be treated as businesses, with taxation, licensing, etc. At the state level, this approach is in process, but while it is getting rolled out, counties still take the lead in determining land use.

If W stands, it cannot be enforced. Law enforcement is stretched to the limits as it is, and yet we are heaping on the burden of more helicopter trips, more surveillance related to cannabis. This county wants law enforcement to focus on real crimes: theft, human trafficking, assault, and other violent crimes — not on the few involved with cannabis.

Looking back to the 1920s, we see that prohibition does not work! Can we not learn from the past; are we destined to repeat the same failed policies? Somehow the board of supervisors believes that it will be different this time because they say so, and that is faulty logic. It will not be different; it will encourage corruption and an increase in illegal activities in this county.

The attempts to control medical cannabis by banning its growth — limiting size and type of grow, etc. — effectively sends growers “underground” and causes more disruption, more polarizing of the community around this issue.

The ballot initiative is unnecessary when the cannabis community is stepping up to say “treat us as businesses; let us pay taxes” and while the board of supervisors has acted within their legal rights to control land use, in that process has taken needless steps to put the medical cannabis business in this county on notice: you will not be tolerated, we will not talk to you; you have no viable voice in Nevada County.

That’s misguided government; that’s legislating from opinion, and undermines the representative process when such long lasting, unenforceable and unnecessary actions are taken without the full community’s active involvement.

Lee Nold-Lewis lives in Chicago Park.

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