Supes vote 4-1 to place the outdoor grow ordinance on the June 7 ballot

Scofield: Yes
Beason: Yes
Anderson: No
Weston: Yes
Miller: Yes

Meanwhile, outdoor grows are immediately prohibited. Indoor medical grows limited to 12 plants.

I watched all this unfold on internet television and will express some views later in the week.

We do not smoke MJ — and never have — and have a teenage son in school.

My concern is raising a teenage child in a retirement community that is so highly polarized. And being an “island” in an otherwise progressive state.

I worry whether this is a constructive solution. Is it just pushing the problem indoors, creating unintended consequences and rancor? What will be the economic fallout? I also worry about polarizing individuals such as Don Bessee, who has an unimpressive resume.

I hope the County has got this right.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

35 thoughts on “Supes vote 4-1 to place the outdoor grow ordinance on the June 7 ballot”

  1. This is a hard one. Whether the supporters of a ban understand the “unintended consequences” remains to be seen. Our non-pot smoking family (with a teenage son) is definitely watching it closely. In a nutshell, we are tired of the rancor in our western County, largely dictated by extremists. This climate does not exist in other communities in Northern California. Are we driving out families or attracting them? If we become even more of a retirement community, do we have all the amenities to support them as they become elderly? Will their kids move here to take care of them — or move them to their own communities? In short, would you “buy,” “hold,” or “sell” stock in western Nevada County CA?

    1. One more important question must be asked in connection with whether you’d buy, sell or hold your Nevada County stock. Do YOU have the right, or maybe even the obligation, to do all in your power to ensure safe and legal access to a plant that has been proven over and over again to have a multitude of tremendous benefits? The aging Nevada County population just might be B-E-G-G-I-N-G for cannabis to ease their aches and pains. Will they be desperate, as they age, for a cookie to ensure deep sleep and healing laughter once in a while? Will they be able to share a special moment and take a toke from their grandson’s bong and celebrate the beauty of the Sierras? With the June election behind us, the people voting down the Supervisors’ overly restrictive ordinance, and the adoption of an equally restrictive one (2416) it seems a long, long time within which much controversial crop destruction and property seizures can occur, and exorbitant fines meted out. Stop repressing the growth of one of earth’s MOST essential gifts, here for our use and enjoyment and healing. Everyone must learn to endure the dangers of fast and polluting automobiles (death traps), tobacco (COPD/cancer), sugar (obesity/diabetes), alcohol (drunkenness/liver rot), guns (injury/death/fear) … so let’s agree to add cannabis to this list: cannabis (deep laughter, deep sleep, munchies). It is time folks. Let’s get this correct and ‘not see’ Nevada County suffer a mass exodus in preference of all of California’s pot-friendly locales. Rogue law enforcement officers carrying out overly restrictive anti-cannabis legislation should not have the power to ruin our California live and let live spirit. They should just realize cannabis is the gold of today. Look closely at the bearded old man panning for gold on the Board of Supes page on the website. No one would be breaking laws around here if the local government would stop trying to ram through unworkable, unjust legislation!!!

  2. Sell! To all the progressives too busy in the brush to have voted last time this came up. I hope you wake up now. My guess is you will not wake up and simply move on. Bummer, man!

  3. This is interesting, at least to any long timers here. From The Union:
    “Keith Davies, CEO of the Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce, also supported the sheriff. He said prospective businesses ask about the county’s marijuana laws.

    “We’re not losing business because the feel is we have control over it,” Davies said, adding, “I don’t want to see Nevada County become a marijuana county.”

  4. What Was Missing!

    I find it interesting that no one brought up the fact that penalties and an appeals process are missing from the revised ordinance. On the County’s website has been a “red-lined version” of the 2012 ordinance showing what was being struck, added, or changed. However, what is NOT shown as red-lined, but is simply GONE, are all the provisions addressing the enforcement, abatement and appeals processes.

    A year ago, Sheriff Royal said the county’s ordinance was “working.” At today’s BOS meeting, he called it “cumbersome.” Then before the supes voted, he said that abatement would be easier because “there would be no hearings.” NO HEARINGS. PERIOD. Also, during the session “civil penalties” were mentioned but never described or discussed.

    I believe the public should have been notified, i.e., shown in the “red-lined version,” that everything in the 2012 ordinance dealing with abatement, enforcement, liability of costs, and so on–is omitted, starting with Section G-IV 5.6 Notice to Abate Unlawful Marijuana Cultivation.

    Is this legal?

    I wonder what else is missing since we, the public, were given so little time to review the 2012 ordinance and compare it to its 2016 version. Supposedly there was “urgency” to adopt the Sheriff’s new ordinance due to a state imposed March 1 deadline. There are three more BOS meetings scheduled between now and then. What was the rush?

    As a home and landowner who has paid property taxes to this county for more than 20 years, I would like to know the answers to these questions.

  5. This from Pasquale at Yuba Net:
    7 Grow Stores
    85 employees
    $21,000,000 gross annual sales
    This from Sara Keene (Cornell grad student study)
    $51.5,000,000 Value of pot production in county(2013)-
    $23.2,000,000 Value of Fruit, Vegetables, Timber, and Livestock (County Combined 2013)
    I thought at one time that they could regulate this “economic engine” and have tax money in the future to run projects in this county. Now I see the BOS do the craziest things time and again, and I’m not sure they could be trusted with a revenue stream that would end their economic worries for the next 100 years. Since the sheriff is wagging this dog, maybe he has a plan to make up for the cash that won’t be coming across the table at places like Matteo’s (where trimmigrants got their name), or at Briar Patch where I see nothing but cash change hands at the register- for lack of a better name call it the elephant in the room.
    But, like I’ve said, the BOS would be on the receiving end of all this new found revenue, and they in turn would give it to the sheriff—- a circular firing squad if ever there was one.

  6. I wonder what the four out of five are smoking. Moving it indoors can cause a long, dark summer when the over demand of electricity hits the fan.

  7. Since this vote makes no economic sense and will force hundreds of people to break the law anyway, what is the rationale behind it? Based on the “discussion” put forth by the supervisors, it seems that it had more to do with ideology than common sense. One of the concerns that seemed to emanate from those who voted “yes” was the fear that they would have to abide by state law if they didn’t have anything in place before the state mandated deadline. My take was the vote was about rushing something in (even if wrong) to preserve local control. The “we don’t want this to be a marijuana county” line of argument is stupid beyond belief and has no merit. It was a stupid decision made by tea party ideologues at the behest of our constitutional sheriff. It was more about power than anything else. The whole batch, including the sheriff needs to be recalled.

    1. Scofield: Yes Up for election in June 2016
      Beason: Yes Not running for reelection in June 2016
      Anderson: No Up for election in June 2016
      Weston: Yes Up for election in June 2018
      Miller: Yes Up for election in June 2018

      1. The problem I see is that most of these growers do not register to vote, because they have been sold a bill of goods that our government is bad. So they continue to lose to the minority by default. Its time these folks wake up and partake in the process. Until then nothing will change.

      2. Scofield definitely needs a viable candidate to oppose him. Imo, there are two good candidates running to replace Nate. What frustrated me this last year was there was very little abatement on what were clearly illegal grows. There was definitely plenty of middle ground vs. going to a ban.

  8. Jeff: you said :”I hope the County has got this right.” The County did not get this right. Southern states are subverting the ‘right to vote’ with onerous regulations. Texas and other states are subverting a woman’s legal right to an abortion with onerous regulations. Nevada County has joined these cultural wars by subverting Nevada County citizens access to legal medical marijuana with their onerous regulations banning outdoor grows and making an indoor grow a nightmare of expenses and restrictions.

  9. Peter,
    Then vote it down in June. One of the things I notice around here is that the barking from the progressives is louder than the bite. Measure S got slammed. Don Bessee is beaming. But who will wipe that smirk off his face? Time to get rolling if the sentiment is that it’s “wrong.”

    1. Re your comment to “vote it down” and the results of Measure S: One of the problems with Measure S was that it did not address the issue of enforcement and appeals. which worried a lot of growers and landowners. At least with the 2012 Ordinance there was a five-day window to file an appeal before abatement could move forward. Now that is even missing… With this, I see “unforeseen circumstances” such as you mentioned in a previous post.. Some say it doesn’t matter because outdoor grows are not permitted any longer. However, if you invest $10,000 plus to create an indoor grow space, wouldn’t you want at least a 5-day grace period and ability to appeal if the Sheriff shows up and says you are, for some reason, not compliant and he is about to take everything?

      1. I guess I’m kind of happy that there is no longer a five day window. Hopefully it means less trips by our house, all hours of the night, by large rental trucks, shortly after compliance checks.

    2. Jeff, My “bark” and “bite” were the same as I voted in favor of “S”. With this I am looking at voting yes on legalization for recreational use. I voted no the last time.

  10. This comment from our beloved “Bradley Jackson” on Facebook is worth pondering:
    “The vast majority of the County is sick and tired of the over the top growers, trimigrants and the problems and distruction far too many of them create.”

    But the issue is whether banning outdoor grows will cause the growers, trimigrants, etc. to flee elsewhere or whether will it create unintended consequences (big indoor grows, electrical fires, escalating public costs to the Sheriff for more enforcement, etc.)

    It seems like a rather simplistic solution to a complicated, ongoing problem.

    Let’s face it: Our towns are still situated near the Interstates (I-80 and I-5) between Colorado and Oregon, which have both legalized MJ. We are still going to be a supplier.

  11. The bigger picture is about the culture war in this county. The war is about the good-ole-boys finding ways to keep progressives at bay to buy time until somebody like Trump can get elected to turn back the clock to the values and belief systems of the 1950s.

    Any electoral issue that is fear-based that retards the progressives will be seized upon by these throw-backs (A.K.A supervisors) to rally the fear-based voters living disproportionately behind the gated electoral strongholds of Lake of the Pines, Lake Wildwood and the wanna-be gated community of Alta Sierra.

    These conservative areas will turn out for the very highly political sheriff, and the well-organized conservative junta he represents as long as he can instill enough fear in gullible voters.
    That is what the ‘presentation’ was about in the first part of the Board of Supervisors meeting. It was to stoke a climate of fear. The irony is that the decision makers showed a lack of faith that state regulations will eventually make any difference. No, they prefer the iron fist.

    The sheriff’s other ace in the hole is the fact that progressives are unorganized and tend to not vote whereas his proto-fascist backers are highly organized and do vote. I am talking here mostly about the Republican Federated Women that paid for all the hysteric anti measure S ads a year ago. Trust me, they will be back to support their Sheriff. They are the electoral practitioners competent to win elections as we have seen.

    You fight them and you will be handed your ass.

    1. Don,
      There will be a vote on this issue in June, according to news reports. My observation is that the local progressives must work harder to “get out the vote” if this is their belief.

  12. Here is a sidebar issue with the marijuana topic.

    Growing up and in my first years of teaching, kids would smell like cigarettes because their parents smoked. Once in a while that still happens but smoking isn’t as prevalent as it once was. For the first time, this year, we’ve had students reek of MJ who were completely sober. It used to be, if a kid smelled of MJ, you made a phone call to the office and a suspension followed. Now, it’s in the home. Apparently in large amounts. I know of a kindergarten teacher locally who had to call in parents because their child’s clothes reeked everyday.

    This could pose an interesting challenge for our middle & high schools (assuming kindergartners are not blazing). How are we going to be certain if a kid is partaking or not? If a kid comes back from lunch smelling of alcohol, it’s probably not because of dad having a beer. But if a kid comes back smelling of MJ, how do we know the source. Is there a ‘breathalizer’ for marijuana?

  13. Meanwhile, the plot thickens. YubaNet is now reporting “Marijuana Cultivation Measure will not reverse outdoor growing ban, even if voters reject it.”
    “With supervisors justifying their vote for the immediate ban in part by stating voters will have their say in June, the public (and this reporter) assumed the ballot measure would provide a clear choice: Vote yes and uphold the ban, or Vote no and the ban is overturned,” the report continued. “Alas, a closer reading of the ballot language shows otherwise. The ballot measure will only add language restricting the permissible use to the cultivation of medical marijuana. The measure is not a Yea or Nay vote on the urgency ordinance.”
    Check out the full report here:

  14. “YubaNet is now reporting this update:
    “Update: Thanks to BOS Chair Dan Miller for his response to our request for comment: ‘We are setting up a meeting with county counsel to get clarification on the ballot measure. Our understanding was a ‘yes’ on the ballot measure would uphold the provisions of the emergency ordinance and a ‘no’ vote would rescind the emergency ordinance and we would return to the previous ordinance. We will, however, confirm this with county counsel. In any event, thanks for raising the question because the intent is to allow the citizens to decide what they want.’”

  15. In all my years of following Nevada County BOS politics this is by far the most bizarre thing I have ever experienced. Who wrote the damn hing and did ANYBODY ever bother to read it? As written it is so far away from what Dan Miller said is the “intent is to allow the citizens to decide what they want.’” that it’s laughable. Did Miller even read it? Also they never opened the floor for public discussion but rammed it through with the excuse that it was late. Also on the other hand the opposition didn’t bother to read it either. You can’t make this stuff up it’s that goofy.

    1. Ever delusional to the end. Below a quote from the Ackerman sendoff .
      “Then there is the infamous office altercation that took place at The Union after Jeff took a stand against drug abuse during a particularly sensitive time in our community.”

      It should read- “After printing very insensitive crap about a young girl who just died, the girls father walked into Jeff Ackerman’s Union Newspaper offices and punched him in the nose”.
      The news from the local paper are stories about the people who run the paper.
      And more and more: Filling space with ads for self promotion like the “chocolate tasting’, so “newspaper events” compete with legitimate events……

    1. The Union is, has been, and will forever be a joke. But they don’t mind because they’re morons, and being paid by Swift to continue to be morons…as if their aging demographic is going to be endowed with longevity. It really is funny. Once the paper folds they will inevitably be perfroming the kind of jobs they are qualified for…

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