Tuolumne County Tables Outdoor Cultivation / Dispensary Ban

February 4, 2014 - By a vote of 5-0, the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors voted to table an ordinance that would have banned medical marijuana dispensaries and outdoor cultivation today. The board acted on the recommendation of the planning commission, which voted 6-1 to scrap their own plan after nearly 100 citizens showed up for the meeting and 20 spoke against it (with none speaking in favor).

After a presentation by Community Resources Director Bev Shane noting that California might have an initiative on the ballot in November, and state legislation was also pending in Sacramento, a motion was made and seconded to delay any action until November.

"The legal waters are muddy," said Supervisor Randy Hanvelt. "This ordinance isn't ready for prime time." Hanvelt said he had received "an enormous number" of letters, emails and calls, all in opposition to the measure. Citing the county's burden of dealing with the drought (that morning they'd declared a drought emergency) and the aftermath of the Rim Fire (initially blamed on a pot grower but later proven to be started by a hunter), Hanvelt moved to "table and revisit."

Supervisor Rodefer called for the federal government to reschedule marijuana. "It doesn't make sense to have it in Schedule 1," he said, saying it prevented legitimate studies or actual prescribing.

Sara Herrin, RN of Today's Health Collective Tuolumne then stood to ask whether local law enforcement would respect state law in the meantime, and won assurances that they would.

Supervisors Randy Hanvelt and Sherri Brennan both mentioned that they had attended a recent RCRC (Rural County Representatives of California) meeting, where the group said they might have as many as eight bills in Sacramento this year. RCRC has announced their desire for a state bill what would give counties the right to ban both dispensaries and all cultivation, indoors and out.

Fresno County has already banned all cultivation, even while the city of Live Oak's total cultivation ban is awaiting review by the California Supreme Court. Counties are emboldened both by the Tehama ruling upholding that county's cultivation ordinance and the Riverside case, wherein the California Supreme Court upheld a city's right to ban dispensaries on public safety grounds.

Tuolumne county residents, including patients and the newly formed CPR group, expressed their desire and need for the county to move quickly on regulations and establish a safe harbor for patients. They urged supervisors to act on the planning commission's recommendation to appoint a task force comprised of county officials and patient activists.

Ellen Komp, Deputy Director of California NORML rose to point out that we will certainly know by April, if not sooner, whether or not an initiative allowing for recreational marijuana use will be on the November ballot. In any case, all four of the proposed initiatives have protections for the current medical marijuana system, she noted, meaning that patients will still need to have protections at the local level.

Komp urged Supervisors to endorse AB604 (Ammiano) which would regulate collective grows at the state level. "Locals are all saying we need better state regulation, here is your chance to make that happen." The bill would also answer the federal government's requirement for better regulation.

After gathering the public's input, the board voted on an amended proposal to table the ordinance only until April, and in the meantime, or at least by the summer, to get moving on a citizen task force to study the issue.

Tuolumne county, a charming gold-rush area community only 30 miles from Yosemite, is the county that prosecuted Myron Mower, leading to the landmark California Supreme Court Mower decision. The town of Tuolumne boasts marijuana lover Lord Buckley as its favorite son.


Being that I recently moved

Being that I recently moved to beautiful Sonora, I beleive there are a lot of people in the county office who really do not have thier eyes open with this issue and truely have not one clue as to what they are doing. Just this past weekend I witnessed for my self a few people in front of the local Walmart actually shooting up drugs as they sat right in front of the building and noone said a thing to them. But yet I see all this garbage being said about Medical Marijana and the uses that it has. People need to open thier eyes and really read things about this plant and everything good it does. You tell me the benefits of putting a needle in your arm and what good those drugs have. There is the real fight that should be focused on. The drugs that are truely bad for you and have no benefits except for DEATH!!!! But yet we spend billions of dollars each year trying to keep the one thing that has so many benefits away because people are to stupid in the government to open thier eyes and see the truth in this. I guess it is better to spend all this money and keep the true criminals out there (FDA) going. Because with all the benefits that Medical Marijajna has, The FDA would no longer be able to make Trillions off us they do for thier bullshit medicine the produce that doesn't help anyone. EXCEPT FOR THEM. And this is all coming from someone as myself who is not even a user but someone who sees the actual benefit. Open your eyes AMERICA and take your heads out of your ass.

Tuolumne county DA continues to prosecute MMJ

Tuolumne county continues to prosecute people for exchanging medial marijuana with other valid patients. First they say you can't have a dispensary and grow it unless it's by a bunch of idiotic rules and than they set up and arrest people who are trying to help them obtain medical marijuana because of the lack of it in the community and all the while there are actual real people, not police using real drs recommendations, who need there MMJ but have no access to it. As the tuolumne county officer stated after his arrest for bringing mmj to another valid MMJ patient: "this is just business". I agree with the other poster that it's all a big waste. I'm glad to hear so many people in the community showed up and spoke out about their "proposed ordinance" hopefully by juries refusing to convict people of bull shit medical marijuana "crimes" things will change for the good of the people and not these morons trying to get their grant moneys and steal anybody's money they want.

Marijuana laws

How is it effecting anyone when us cannibus card holders grow outdoors. Doesn't toulumne county have bigger things to worry about like herione, crystal meth. I think that is a main priority in toulumne county. Marijuana is helping its a healing herb this is ridiculous we have to fight this constantly there's bigger fish to fry. Besides us mas and pas these cops have nothing better to do, why don't they start going after all these tweakers for heavens sake were not hurting nobody. Damn conservatives open your damn mind .........

Because...

Marijuana patients & growers are easy targets. Easy pray. When a police officer makes an arrest, he is a hero. He's doing his job. So a pot grower thinking he is protected by state law and his doctors recomendation, makes a police officer a hero very easily. When a DA gets a conviction she/he gets big points towards his/her career regardless of the true guilt of the defendant. Actually an attorny that proves guilt when its not there is a better attorny. Very easy. Kind of like when a lion goes into a heard to hunt, if there is pray young, slower, blind, or ablivious it gets killed. When marijuana users and growers start believing they are not criminals because the fact that their cause is good, healing and helpful to people, they become easy pray to the wolves that want to get their arrests and convictions. Meth cooks and heroin dealers know they are evil criminals so they hide and sneak. When's the last time you heard of police getting hundreds of pounds of meth or heroin off the street? Large gardens come down daily. Yet the streets in all our big citys are lined with homeless, toothless meth users. Adult men riding kids bmx bikes around looking for the next thing to steal for his dealers. The numbers of those types are obviously rising. I see young teens spun out all around in sacramento. The dealers have to be all over the place. But They are too hard to catch because they know they are doing evil so they hide deep. So police focus on growers because we are in sight. They make their jobs easy and they keep convincing the public marijuana's evil so there job as hero's can be kept easy. It's very obvious. These county banns are a final attempt to keep marijuana looked at as evil, and part of the job. You always hear on the news about gardens being cut down, but never hear about meth labs being stopped. Super sad. And we are supposed to be a smart country. We are very nieve.