Local group challenges Tehama County cannabis laws

A group of Tehama County residents is taking steps to try and change existing cannabis laws which they say are too restrictive.

Posted: Dec. 1, 2017 7:22 PM

A group of Tehama County residents is taking steps to try and change existing cannabis laws which they say are too restrictive.

Several members of the group Cannabis Research Committee (CRC) turned in a proposal to the Tehama County planning commission Friday in hopes of having it officially addressed by the board of supervisors.

Jason browne is one of those people.

He’s an expert on cannabis and has been an expert witness for the court for more than 20 years..

“As a long term citizen of Tehama County, I felt it was my duty to help to make things right and change the system here,” Browne said.

Manton resident Liz Merry is also a part of the CRC.

She says she chose to get involved for other reasons.

“We were fined thousands of dollars before our hearing,” Merry said. “And we feel that violated both our fourth and 14th amendment rights as citizens of the United States of America.”

The current Tehama County ordinance bans all outdoor growing of marijuana.

It can only be grown indoors in a separate structure from the home.

And the ordinance has very specific requirements, which the group says are unreasonable and unfair to the poor, many of whom choose cannabis as a more affordable, alternative form of medication.

The CRC submitted a rezoning application to the county Friday which Browne says will push the proposal into a public process through the planning commission, which he hopes will consider it as a replacement to all previous ordinances.

“We're going to give them the 30 days to consider the application and see where they're at,” Browne said. “If they don't, We're going to go ahead and run this as a local ballot initiative and let the voters decide.”

Chief administrator for Tehama County Bill Goodwin says members of the group have regularly attended board meetings and their voices haven't gone unheard.

“The Board of Supervisors has listened very attentively,” Goodwin said. “And what they have discussed is forming a coordination committee to talk about where we're going to be going with marijuana in the future.”

The county did hold a special workshop to take input on the issue.

At that time, the CRC presented a draft of the same ordinance.
But they said they never heard back and felt brushed aside.

That's why they're now taking a different approach.

“The people of California have voted on this,” Merry said. “It is legal here now. And I think everyone wants to be fair.”

The group plans to address the board of supervisors again ‎at Tuesday's meeting which begins at 10am.

They invite anyone who’s interested to attend.

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