It won't be made official for more than three weeks, after the remaining absentee and vote-by mail ballots have all been counted. But with 100 percent of the precincts reporting in Butte County, it's safe to say Measure A has gone up in smoke. " We thank our voters, we thank our supporters, we thank our volunteers," said land use attorney Robert MacKenzie.
The measure aimed to place restrictions on medical marijuana grows, including how many plants could be grown on any given size property. One of the main problems opponents had with the ordinance. " Prop 215 was passed to give patients exemptions, it had nothing to do with land use," said Paradise resident Tom Wahl. MacKenzie added, " It's more than just medical marijuana. It's about private property rights, it's about having privacy in your own home as a family."
The failed measure means more work lies ahead for the Butte County Board of Supervisors, who sat through numerous public hearings before drafting the ordinance. They say it's back to the drawing board, but until then, the regulation of medical marijuana in Butte County will fall under state guidelines. " It's sort of the wild west. You can have whatever the rules are in the state of California which are kind of vague, but you certainly can grow 6 plants on have an acre, and we had that taken out of our ordinance," said District 3 Supervisor Maureen Kirk.
Kirk is hopeful a compromise will be made, once the discussion of a new ordinance is put back on the agenda. " I think we've learned from this and I think we'll be able to do a good ordinance."
Many who opposed Measure A say a new ordinance is not needed. They feel Butte County's nuisance abatement ordinance is sufficient. The Butte County Board of Supervisors can not put the issue of a new ordinance back on the agenda, until it is finalized that Measure A has officially failed. The new ordinance must also be substantially different from the original.