Norton Lehner: Are you listening, Board of Supervisors? |

Norton Lehner: Are you listening, Board of Supervisors?

This is an open message to the Nevada County Board of Supervisors, city councils of Grass Valley, Nevada City and Truckee, and the leaders of all branches of law enforcement:

On July 12, The Union quotes a marijuana advocate: “The law was the problem, not their actions.”

We are a nation of laws. We don’t get to pick and choose which ones to obey, and which ones to ignore. If “the law is the problem,” there are remedies.

Aug. 8: The Union reports that Oakhurst police say a property owner was shot and killed when he confronted men who were growing marijuana on his rural Central California property.

Sept. 15: The Union reports that Siskiyou County is experiencing severe problems with the uncontrolled proliferation of marijuana farms. So severe that their county has asked for California state aid to combat the problem.

Sept. 23: Front page of The Union: “Growing pains” discusses water compliance issues. A grower admits to being out of compliance with the existing ordinance. He knew what the ordinance required, and he ignored it.

Are you listening?

The AAA reports increased DUI fatality rates in states where marijuana has been approved for recreational use.

Similar studies indicate:

Higher school truancy and disciplinary rates; higher crime rates associated with marijuana cultivation and distribution and further decimation of wild lands.

The Surgeon General and the CDC report that “Marijuana use is a major health problem in the United States.”

The DEA has restated that marijuana is a Schedule I drug, along with heroin, LSD, meth and ecstasy, among the most dangerous and addictive drugs. In agreement is the AMA.

Are you listening?

Sept. 30: The Union reports yet another example of growers’ contempt for federal, state and local law, describing the bust of a 9,000-square-foot area containing more than 1,300 marijuana plants, along with … well, read the report and draw your own conclusions.

The Union’s police blotter reports many calls dealing with drug abuse, public intoxication and under the influence of a controlled substance, with some specifically mentioning marijuana.

Are you listening?

Federal law continues to prohibit cultivation and possession of marijuana. California state law legalizing the sale of marijuana for recreational use is not yet in effect. Yet growers in Nevada County are jumping the gun, violating state and federal law, and ignoring our county ordinance in order to reap the profits associated with their illicit activity.

Are you listening?

October 4: The Union’s headline, “Pot producers put in peril over changing laws,” is misleading. In 2014, Yuba County citizens raised concerns over the effects of pot in their neighborhoods. The county Board of Supervisors agreed, and in 2015, the board repealed guidelines allowing up to 99 plants, and replaced them with an ordinance that limits grows to 12 plants, with no outdoor grows. According to The Union, the ordinance states “the [Yuba County] board finds that immediate action, in the form of an urgency ordinance is necessary to curb the potential influx of large scale marijuana cultivation in the County.”

October 5: The Union reports “Three arrested on vehicle and drug charges.” The drugs include marijuana and a butane honey oil lab.

Are you listening?

Or are you listening to the vocal, combative defenders of their illicit products? Are you listening to the pot activists who shout down every dissenting opinion at meetings of the Board of Supervisors and CAG? Are you listening to the folks who would promulgate their poison at the risk and expense of the citizens of Nevada County, and, in particular, our youth?

No one is naïve enough to believe that any of this will change after Jan. 1. The growers will continue to violate federal law and any limiting provisions of our county ordinance, the criminals will continue to decimate the landscape, and lives will continue to be destroyed.

Maybe it’s time to take a step back and survey the marijuana landscape.

Re-read your oath of office, and ask yourselves if this is really what you envisioned, and promised the citizens of Nevada County. If the answer is “no,” then maybe it’s time to make an assertive response to the drug dealers and establish an ordinance that does, in fact, support research associated with medical marijuana, and, in our county at least, curb the cultivation and distribution for recreational use.

Then rigorously enforce that ordinance. Maybe it’s time to put an end to this nonsense!

We’ve heard the slogan “Don’t ‘Roseville’ Grass Valley.” So too, then, let’s not “‘Siskiyou’ Nevada County.”

Norton Lehner lives in Grass Valley.

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