Mar 10, 2016 1:08 PM by News Staff
Medical marijuana grows and Measure A in Butte County was the hot topic at Tuesday's county board of supervisors meeting.
The supervisors voting on how to address two challenges to recent rule changes -- regarding medical marijuana grows.
Due to two successful petition drives the Board of Supervisors had to rethink hand stamping recent changes it made regarding the do's and don'ts of the cultivation of medical marijuana in the county.
“We're still in conflict with federal law even allowing what we do so this is not going to go away overnight,” Supervisor Bill Connelly said in the meeting.
The chairman of the board Connelly talking to a packed house of medical marijuana advocates about the complexity of the county's enforcement of voter approved Measure A.
The measure limits the size of pot grows by lot size in unincorporated areas of the county.
Jessica Mackenzie, Executive Director of the Inland Cannabis Farmer’s Association, said the group will not stop pushing for full legalization despite the outcome.
“We will continue our efforts to bring this county into a place of full legitimacy is granted to cannabis farmers,” she said.
To help reach that end, Mackenzie led a referendum drive that forced supervisors to either repeal an amendment they recently made to Measure A or put the matter on the June 7 primary ballot.
The supervisors voted in favor of the later the amendment was designed to streamline the code violation process.
“Those were really lessons learned from 2015.There are a lot of changes to make the process of enforcing those cultivation restrictions more efficient and less costly for the county,” said Casey Hatcher, Butte County spokesperson.
But medical marijuana proponents say voters deserved the right to weigh in on the boards changes to enforcement procedures especially since they believe the current enforcement of Measure A has already gone too far.
“No other code violations are prosecuted or persecuted with the same intention with the same intensity with the same behaviors that our farmers have to tolerate,” Mackenzie said.
The board of supervisors also voted to let voters decide if its decision to exclude medical marijuana from the county's right to farm ordinance should stand.
Regardless of the outcome of the vote in June with the current Measure A cultivation limits in effect commercial farming of pot will continue to be forbidden in the county.
Supervisors could have called for a special election, but opted for the June primary a less expensive option.