Nov 5, 2014 3:43 PM by Brian Johnson
For the first time publicly, Sheriff Kory Honea is speaking out in strong support of Measure A, the more restrictive Butte County medical marijuana cultivation measure that passed last night.
More than 60% of voters said yes to scaling back the size of grow operations, and Sheriff Honea says Measure A is a good start to getting a handle on the influx of illegal and commercial grow operations in the county.
Honea's interests naturally lie in public safety, and he says voters saw a need to bring an out of control situation under control.
That out of control situation started, he says, when an ad-hoc committee, including former Butte County Sheriff Jerry Smith, crafted a county ordinance that allowed for a maximum of 99 plants (essentially what Measure B was fighting to protect last night).
Honea believes that was an initial attempt to determine a course of action that was fair to all parties involved.
But he says it's one that has since put public safety in jeopardy because it's been tied to a significant increase in illegal commercial grows his office has had to patrol-particularly in the last year.
"And what we're seeing is that the vast majority of the people involved in those commercial grows are from out of state and what they're doing is they're coming to our county and they are utilizing our natural resources, they're putting our environment in danger, they're bringing the prospect of crime to our communities, and they're exporting that marijuana to other states for huge profits," Honea said.
Measure A sets marijuana cultivation limits based on cultivation area, with a maximum of 150 square feet.
A representative with measure B tells Action News Now that's essentially two sheets of plywood, and is moving the county "two steps backwards." That representative believes it will force more medical marijuana patients to grow their own medicine within city limits.
A Butte County meeting is taking place today where county officials discussed just how they'll enforce Measure A now that it has passed.
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