Shasta County to Vote on Outdoor Medical Marijuana Ban
UPDATE January 16 - The Shasta Board has established a medical marijuana advisory committee, and expects to take up the issue again sometime in mid-February.
January 15 - This morning at its Board of Supervisors meeting, Shasta county's board will consider a resolution setting in motion a ban of outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana, as well as making violations of the ordinance a $1,000 misdemeanor fine instead of a $100 infraction.
The proposal is "a wonderful crime-creation program for the Shasta sheriffs," said CalNORML director Dale Gieringer.
Since at the same meeting, supes will also vote to accept $130,000 to partially fund the Shasta Interagency Narcotics Task Force, spend $8500 for a new canine cop, and accept three military surplus High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles with a value of $48,000 each from the California Public Safety Procurement 1033 Program, it seems they're gearing up.
Shasta BOS chairman for 2013 is David Kehoe, former mayor of Redding and member of the Shasta County Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board. Also on the board is former Redding police chief Leonary Moty. Former Anderson Mayor Les Baugh, also on the board, is interviewed in today's Redding Record Searchlight about the issue, along with Supervisor Bill Schappell.
"There may be someone who can't afford the electricity (to grow indoors)...so what are you going to say, 'You can't do it'?" said Jeffrey Schwartz, an Arcata-based attorney who is on the NORML legal committee. "Certainly just a blanket 'We're not going to allow outdoor grows' I don't think would fly constitutionally."
After hearing from a Shasta county resident, CalNORML deputy director Ellen Komp wrote to the supervisors, "While there may be a need in some cities to require greenhouses or other security measures for medical marijuana gardens, in rural areas and in whole counties, there is no justification for outlawing outdoor gardens. In any case, hardship exemptions for indigent patients must be included to assure safe access under state law."
The only counties that have outdoor bans are Kings, San Bernardino and Sutter (which accepted a compromise allowing for greenhouses, endorsed by a manufacturer of compliant greenhouses). Butte county scrapped their plans for an outdoor ban after their DA objected. Read more about local medical marijuana ordinances.
If Shasta votes in favor of the resolution, it will be researched by planners and then brought before the Planning Commission before an ordinance is considered by the Board of Supervisors.
Shasta county citizens and others with concerns about local ordinances are invited to write to CalNORML.