CA NORML News


MARIJUANA ORDINANCE FOR MENDOCINO COUNTY

Section 1: FINDINGS.

The people of Mendocino County find as follows:

* WHEREAS Cannabis sativa (marijuana) is a beneficial plant with a respectable heritage and hundreds of well-known industrial, medicinal and recreational uses;

* WHEREAS two decades of marijuana law enforcement in Mendocino County has not stopped cultivation here but has unnecessarily marginalized a large number of otherwise law abiding citizens who grow and use marijuana;

* WHEREAS those who grow for personal use are not responsible for violent incidents sometimes associated with marijuana cultivation, but are vulnerable to theft;

* WHEREAS The Institute of Medicine has found that marijuana has bona fide medical uses and is not a gateway to hard drug addiction;

* WHEREAS law enforcement has carried out investigations, confiscations, and arrests against persons cultivating and using medical marijuana under Proposition 215 in Mendocino County;

* WHEREAS the cities of Berkeley and San Francisco have longstanding ordinances which instruct police to minimize the priority of marijuana enforcement.

Section 2: PURPOSE

The ordinance codified in this chapter will:

A. Instruct the county government to support all efforts toward the decriminalization of marijuana;

B. Instruct the county sheriff and district attorney to make marijuana enforcement their lowest priority with respect to other crimes;

C. Establish a maximum limit of plants and weight for cultivation and possession of marijuana for personal use in Mendocino County, and prohibit the expenditure of public funds for enforcement of marijuana laws against cultivators and users in possession of quantities below that limit.

D. Remove the fear of prosecution and the stigma of criminality from people who harmlessly cultivate and/or use marijuana for personal medical or recreational purposes.

E. Extend police protection to those growing or possessing marijuana for personal use;

F. Provide for the continued enforcement of marijuana laws against those who cultivate, transport and possess marijuana for sale.

THEREFORE: the purpose of this chapter is to establish Cannabis enforcement policy for Mendocino County.

Section 3: DECRIMINALIZATION OF CANNABIS IN CALIFORNIA

It is the desire of the people of Mendocino County that the cultivation for personal use of Cannabis be decriminalized in California. In this context, the board of supervisors is directed to lobby state and federal governments for the immediate decriminalization of the personal use of Cannabis, specifically by repealing Sections 11357, (possession), 11358, (transportation), and - 11359, (cultivation), of the California Health and Safety Code. The people also urge the Sheriff and District Attorney to publicly support such decriminalization.

Section 4: LAW ENFORCEMENT PRIORITY OF CANNABIS

Through its budgetary authority, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors shall seek to ensure that the Sheriff's Office and the District Attorney give lowest priority to the enforcement and prosecution of marijuana laws.

Section 5: SHERIFF OFFICE ARRESTS AND CITATIONS

The Board of Supervisors shall use its budgetary authority to ensure that the Sheriff's Office makes no arrests and issues no citations for violations of the above state Health and Safety Code sections in any single case involving 25 or fewer adult flowering female marijuana plant or the equivalent in dried marijuana.

Section 6: DISTRICT ATTORNEY PROSECUTIONS

The Board of Supervisors shall use its funding authority to ensure that the District Attorney shall not prosecute any violations of the above state Health and Safety Code sections nor seize any property in any single case involving 25 or fewer adult flowering female marijuana plants or the equivalent in dried marijuana.

Section 7: EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS FOR CANNABIS ENFORCEMENT

Neither the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, nor the Sheriff, nor the District Attorney shall spend or authorize the expenditure of any public funds for the investigation, arrest, or prosecution of any person, or the seizure of any property in any single case involving 25 or fewer adult flowering female marijuana plants or the equivalent in dried marijuana, nor shall the Auditor Controller or the Treasurer- Tax Collector approve any such requests for such expenditures of public funds, or authorize or approve the issuance of any form of payment should such expenditures be made.

Section 8: REPORTING

The Board of Supervisors shall instruct the Sheriff's Office and District Attorney to report on December 1 of each year regarding marijuana law enforcement and prosecution activities engaged in by themselves and by state, federal, and/or other law enforcement agencies within the County of Mendocino.

Section 9: SERVERABILITY

The people of Mendocino County intend that in case a court of competent jurisdiction should find one or more of the above Sections illegal, the remaining Sections remain in full force and effect.


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