Butte County Supervisors debate medical marijuana next week

Jan 9, 2014 8:01 PM

The Butte County Board of Supervisors will review Ordinance 4051 next Tuesday, otherwise known as the cultivation of medical marijuana.

It’s a new year, a new battle, and both sides are ready to fight.

On one side of the ring, is the lone ranger of the Butte County Board of Supervisors, Mr. Larry Wahl.

“If we can restrict the amount of pot grown in Butte County, then we'll go a long way toward making public safety a lot better in this county,” Wahl said.

Since the county's current ordinance was adopted in February of last year, Wahl has been adamant that no grow operation needs 99 plants.

“I'd like to see it reduced to zero,” Wahl said.

And that's exactly what the fighters on the other side of the ring fear.

In December, the board changed a few parts of the ordinance, all of which the Western Plant Science Association, along their lawyer, Rob MacKenzie, find perfectly acceptable.

But touching plant counts? No way.

“The idea that we're going to restrict a substance, because it's harmful and what's going to benefit society, couldn't be more ridiculous,” MacKenzie said.

Anticipating renewed discussions of a more restrictive ordinance, they're doing something about it.

“Today, we're filing an initiative which is that ordinance which is now in effect. We're going to do that to preserve the status quo,” MacKenzie said.

Then they’ll start the petition process, and then file a referendum.

“If they throw up a referendum, great. We'll go with it,” Wahl said.

As for what Wahl thinks of his opposition…

“Most of the growers that want the 99 plants to remain, are profiteers off pot. [It’s as] simple as that,” Wahl said.

“That couldn't be less true,” said MacKenzie. “As I said, the effort we're putting forth is to create a sustainable supply for qualified patients who need it.


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