Editor’s note: The local GOP is opposing “Measure S,” the marijuana ordinance, while the local Democrats are supporting it. The details are below. The voter turnout in June was dismal, and I wonder if the marijuana ordinance will improve the turnout.
•The Nevada County Democrats voted on Thursday to endorse Measure S, the Medical Marijuana ordinance on the Nevada County ballot in November 2014, according to a news release from Democratic Central Committee Chair Jim Firth.
The Nevada County Democratic Central Committee heard a one-hour presentation from Measure S proponent Patricia Smith that included discussion of its features and time for questions and answers, the release states. The Committee then deliberated for another half hour to make sure members “fully understood the positive benefits not only to patients, but also to our community as a whole.”
“The Committee feels Measure S is the sensible solution to providing medicine to patients suffering from a variety of chronic conditions like, seizures, cancer, arthritis, glaucoma, or multiple sclerosis,” Firth stated in the release. “Medical Marijuana can sometimes provide relief to patients who are not relieved by conventional medicines.
The current ordinance passed by the Nevada County Board of Supervisors in May 2012 without thorough review or adequate input from the community resulted in a countywide petition drive to place this item before the voters. The petition garnered over 11,000 valid signatures, but was delayed until the November 2014 election.
According to the release, Measure S provides strict limitations on the number of plants grown outdoors in rural zones; forbids outdoor growing on residential lots of less than 2 acres; adheres to the State of California setback standards; and reverses “non-sensical restrictions like not growing plants on hillsides.”
“The criticism that Measure S lacks enforcement provisions is groundless,” the release states. “Measure S intentionally and appropriately leaves enforcement to county officials. Furthermore, there are adequate laws in place to address the illegal activities of drug peddlers, or those who cause environmental damage, such as illegally diverting water or allowing toxins to pollute our streams and rivers.
“We encourage all thinking voters to read the language of the ordinance. It can be found at the Americans for Safe Access web site http://www.asa-nc.com. We urge voters not to be misled by false statements and hyperbole. The “negative impacts” have been mitigated while allowing for responsible cultivation of medical marijuana.”
•Resolution of the Nevada County Republican Party Opposing Measure S
WHEREAS, the Nevada County Republican Party supports the protection of personal property rights and the rights of all to enjoy the beauty and outdoors of Nevada County;
WHEREAS, the Nevada County Republican Party supports the rights of County residents to the quiet enjoyment of their own property;
WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors have carefully deliberated on the issue of legal marijuana growing within the County boundaries and have set reasonable laws, regulations, restrictions and consequences for growers;
WHEREAS, the current rules and regulations governing the growth of legal marijuana in the County for medicinal purposes is sufficient;
WHEREAS, Measure S has qualified for the November ballot and seeks to expand the rights of marijuana growers without protecting the right of individual property owners;
WHEREAS, Measure S significantly reduces and in many instances eliminates the ability of County law enforcement to enforce growing restrictions;
WHEREAS, the Nevada County Republican Party believes that the expansion of marijuana growing rights under Measure S would be detrimental to the residents of this County by impinging upon the quiet enjoyment of personal property by having to be subjected to: odors, fumes, pesticides, ground water contamination, creased crime and health concerns related to expanded marijuana growing;
WHEREAS, the passage of Measure S will encourage the expansion of illegal marijuana growing by lessening the penalties and impeding the enforcement by County officials; and,
WHEREAS, the only purpose in passing Measure S would be to increase marijuana growing in the county and substantially reduce enforcement measures and penalties for those violating the regulations.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Nevada County Republican Party opposes Measure S and urges all voters (regardless of party affiliation) to protect the health, safety and quiet enjoyment of all County Residents by voting No on Measure S.