William Clark: Thanks to supervisors for calling a ‘timeout’ on marijuana cultivation
I applaud the Board of Supervisors (BOS) for calling a time out on the effort to develop the permanent medical marijuana cultivation ordinance (The Union, Sept. 26).
Now we all have a chance to “get it right” as they say.
Let me state at the outset: I’m not a grower nor am I a user of marijuana, medical or otherwise and I don’t harbor ill will towards those folks who do. I voted against Measure W because I believe in creating laws and ordinances through the democratic process of working together and not by fiat or by ballot measures.
As I see it, the task to develop a permanent ordinance is not trivial and the BOS must navigate some tricky wickets to pull it off.
First, the formation of a community advisory group after the November election. For example, how many members? Does each supervisor appoint one, two, or five? And from what areas will members be selected? Marijuana users? Growers? County residents? Law enforcement? Medical professionals? The list could go on.
The Union article states the advisory group would hear from various interest groups. The same article then states all segments of the county will be included in the advisory committee. It sounds like we’ll have some wolves helping to design the henhouse.
Second, the grower’s representative wants the permanent ordinance to be in place by March for next year’s growing season.
Third, both sides want a “neutral” person to serve as facilitator to guide the advisory group. The BOS must conduct a search to find such a person.
Fourth, the main effort: developing the permanent ordinance, presenting to the full board of supervisors, scheduling the necessary hearings, then a board of supervisors vote to approve the ordinance.
Remember, all this must happen by March of next year in order to meet the grower’s demands. Time is not on our side, what with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s holidays coming up fast. I don’t see how the advisory group can be formed, hold meetings, get input from the various interest groups, develop the ordinance, and have the ordinance approved by the March time frame.
It’s obvious to me that to “get it right”, as I said above, we must take as much time as we need and not be subject to the desires of the growers. I want to see Nevada County develop a strong, enforceable, and fair ordinance for the cultivation of medical marijuana.
In my opinion, it would help all of us if the BOS would delay the formation of the advisory group until after the new BOS member is sworn in. New ideas and fresh energy can help move this effort forward.
With Proposition 64 looming in the background, cultivation of medical marijuana is the tip of the iceberg. In the near future we will have to address issues of marijuana processing, distribution, dispensing, transportation, and the production of honey oil, tinctures, CBD and other distillates. Not to mention the control of marijuana purity and degree of potency.
A long journey, but we must take the first step.
William Clark lives in Grass Valley.
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