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Cannabis - Two Sides to Every Story

Cannabis Decisions:
Two Sides to Every Story

Mar 28, 2018

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The decision on WHERE cannabis can be grown has only partly been decided as Sonoma County enters into farming and selling this now legal crop in California. People who voted to make this beneficial plant legal so that it can be grown for fiber, medicinal solutions, as well as recreational use, are afraid of WHERE this crop will be grown The ease of stealing and selling it attracts criminals and has caused death to innocent people living near grows.

On April 10th, the Board of Supervisors will be addressing the next decisions regarding the many details around legalizing this crop that has an estimated 4,000 to 10,000 illegal grows that are currently unregulated and untaxed. How to bring this valuable industry into compliance with all other agricultural products is a challenge we have yet to meet. It’s a rogue industry that needs to become legal for many reasons.

Groups have formed to support legalization and help support entrepreneurs as they come out of their closets into the light of business regulation. Groups have also formed to protect landowners who are at risk of grows near residential homes. ~ Vesta Copestakes, Editor         


First-Ever Sheriff Candidates’ Cannabis Debate on April 12

By Craig Litwin

The first-ever cannabis debate among Sonoma County Sheriff candidates is being co-hosted by Citizens for Responsible Access(CRA), Americans for Safe Access – Sonoma County Chapter (ASA) and Sonoma County Growers Alliance (SCGA). Sonoma County residents are invited to attend this free, one-of-a-kind event and hear each candidate share his vision for enforcement of the new local and state cannabis regulations.

As adult-use cannabis comes online across the state, implementation of a new regulatory system is going to change the way enforcement takes place. Will our soon-to-be-elected official be ready?

What are the candidates’ positions? Historically, cannabis has been a law-enforcement matter but is now moving toward a code-enforcement issue – will this still be the case? Citizens are encouraged to attend to find out answers to these and other important questions.

The decision on WHERE cannabis can be grown has only partly been decided as Sonoma County enters into farming and selling this now legal crop in California. People who voted to make this beneficial plant legal so that it can be grown for fiber, medicinal solutions, as well as recreational use, are afraid of WHERE this crop will be grown The ease of stealing and selling it attracts criminals and has caused death to innocent people living near grows.

On April 10th, the Board of Supervisors will be addressing the next decisions regarding the many details around legalizing this crop that has an estimated 4,000 to 10,000 illegal grows that are currently unregulated and untaxed. How to bring this valuable industry into compliance with all other agricultural products is a challenge we have yet to meet. It’s a rogue industry that needs to become legal for many reasons.

Groups have formed to support legalization and help support entrepreneurs as they come out of their closets into the light of business regulation. Groups have also formed to protect landowners who are at risk of grows near residential homes.         

The candidates for Sonoma County Sheriff in the upcoming 2018 election are Sonoma County Sheriff’s captain Mark Essick,retired Los Angeles Police captain John Mutz, and retired Santa Rosa Police Department lieutenant and current City of Santa Rosa councilman Ernesto Olivares. Each candidate will be given an opportunity to respond to the moderator’s questions, which include questions that have been provided to the candidates in advance of the debate and ones that have been reserved for the live event. This moderator session will be followed by the candidates’ answers to questions that have been submitted by the audience.

Voting in Sonoma County starts in early May, and this evening of debate will prove informative for the local community. This event is especially relevant to voters in the cities of Sonoma and Windsor, where the local law enforcement is under the jurisdiction of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. Sonoma County residents are encouraged to attend the post-debate mixer to speak directly with the candidates and get answers to any additional questions.

Voters should inform themselves about the sheriff candidates’ attitudes toward – and intentions to support or undermine – the burgeoning cannabis industry. Other key questions include how each candidate envisions the future of policing and enforcement, plans to coordinate with other agencies, intends to prioritize items in the department’s budget and expects to redirect the money previously allocated to cannabis control.

The debate will be held on from 5:30 to 7 pm on April 12 at the Glaser Center, located at 547 Mendocino Avenue in Santa Rosa. Immediately following the debate, there will be a chance to mingle with the candidates from 7 to 8 pm, during which time complimentary light refreshments will be served. Paid parking is available behind the Glaser Center.

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATIONS

Citizens for Responsible Access supports sound cannabis policies in California and the candidates, initiatives, and regulations that govern such policies, which protect the environment, enhance public safety, offer education, and are fiscally responsible in order to protect the right of all people to fair treatment under state and local law.

Americans for Safe Access works to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research. The Sonoma County Chapter meets the first Thursday of the month at 6 pm at the Arlene Francis Center in Santa Rosa.

Sonoma County Growers Alliance develops and preserves reasonable environmental, social, and economic standards in our community. SCGA works cooperatively with all individuals, businesses and regulatory bodies to ensure that cannabis operators within the community participate and thrive responsibly.


Cannabis Ordinance at Risk!

A small and well-funded number of residents opposing cannabis, particularly cultivation, has organized and is gaining traction to make the Sonoma County Ordinance extremely prohibitive. If these individuals are successful, Sonoma County will see an approximate 80% failure rate in the existing permit applications. This continuation of the failed war on drugs rhetoric is largely based on fear and emotions, with little interest in balanced policymaking.

Example of Demands:

1. Stop issuing ALL commercial cannabis permits until the ordinance is changed

2. Permanently stop zoning permits (ministerial)

3. Only allow cultivation in industrial zones

4. Increase minimum parcel size or ban outdoor

5. Increase distance of cultivation site from neighboring residence to 1000 feet

6. Cap permits to only produce enough cannabis to supply Sonoma County consumers

7. Create exclusion zones for agriculture zoned properties

8. Increase groundwater study requirements

9. Disband Cannabis Advisory Group

10. Make changes to ordinance retroactive, applying to all existing permit applicants

PLEASE ATTEND:

Board of Supervisors, 575 Administration Drive-102A, Santa Rosa

Tuesday, April 3rd- Board of Supervisors Meeting 8:30am. (Speak On: Items Not On Agenda)

Tuesday, April 10th - Board of Supervisors Meeting 8:30am. *Cannabis Ordinance, Phase 2 

*Wear green, the opposition will be in red.


SOSneighborhoods.com

We are a coalition of concerned Sonoma County residents dedicated to representing neighborhoods in lobbying the county for the common sense cultivation of commercial cannabis.

We are the under-represented citizens of rural, unincorporated Sonoma County communities impacted by the recently introduced County cannabis ordinance. Our farms and pastures and our Agriculture and rural communities foster a $2 Billion dollar per year tourist industry. No tourist, ever, reported they visited Sonoma County to see the new Target, or the new lane added to Route 101, or new housing in Rohnert Park. Tourists to Sonoma County, when polled, have said our rural character is what draws them.

Ask your county Supervisor what they are doing to help this $2 Billion tourist industry and preserve that rural character. Is asking 5000 illegal pot growers to come on out of the woods and set up shop in our rural neighborhoods – next to our schools and parks and homes – helping?

Is allowing commercial pot labs to setup shop in our pristine bucolic backcountry roads helping? Are 8-foot fences, security lighting, guard dogs, alarms, 24-hour operations helping? Is having industrial level electricity demand and chemical use, intense lighting and other infrastructure loading on our tiny, sometimes one lane roads helping keep people safe in terms of emergency response and fire risk?

Take a minute. Consider also the recent drought and the fact that rural residents have wells and that cannabis cultivation draws a tremendous volume of groundwater. Is bringing them into residential areas fair to these residents? We say not. We believe these industrial operations are better suited to industrial/commercial zoned areas.

April 10th Board of Supervisors Meeting on revising the cannabis ordinance Please ATTEND and wear RED

Board of Supervisors, 575 Administration Drive Room 102A, Santa Rosa,

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