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Measure S isn’t about medicine

Thanks to the League of Women Voters and their recent forum on Measure S, the medical marijuana initiative, I learned a lot and had my hunches confirmed. According to Ms. Patricia Smith and Mr. Stephen Munkelt, they wrote Measure S to facilitate medical marijuana (MMJ) growing by collectives in order to be able to grow more MMJ for more people including people who don’t live in Nevada County.

Proponents of Measure S agree that no one actually knows how many Nevada County residents have a current prescription for MMJ. But to them, it doesn’t matter because the needs of those few should trump the needs of the greater community. We should just put up with noxious odors and give up quiet enjoyment of our neighborhoods and backyards for the six to eight weeks when MMJ smells the worst.

Ms. Smith and Mr. Munkelt don’t like the language in the sample ballot and the use of the word “expand” — but when something is doubled, that means it has been expanded and Measure S does expand and loosen every regulation contained in the current MMJ ordinance. I learned that it wasn’t an oversight that Measure S is silent about growing in nonresidential and agricultural zones. Ms. Smith visualizes and expects MMJ to be grown in commercial, industrial, business park, airport and other zones without limitation if Measure S passes.



Ms. Smith also expects that growers will be good neighbors and good stewards of the land and therefore don’t need the guidelines provided by the current ordinance. That’s why we are told Measure S is intentionally vague on details. But according to our District Attorney, that same vagueness will invite and require lots of litigation to clarify the meaning of Measure S and so become a full employment act for local lawyers. Astoundingly, Measure S purposefully contains no enforcement measures at all. And here’s the problem — cheating. Studies have shown and everybody knows that, “cheating increases when rules are ambiguous and when strict supervision is lacking.”

When you read every word of the current medical marijuana cultivation ordinance and then read every word of Measure S it is clear, Measure S isn’t about medicine. Be smart, vote no on S.




Jo Ann Rebane lives in Nevada City.


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