Day after day we see so many conflicting stories about marijuana.
If you read only local news you see the continuing political disagreements, the continuous back and forth that seems to distract our leaders from addressing more important issues for our county.
Then there are daily headlines and press releases from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, one farm after the other, how many plants they seized, how many guns or dogs they had, and all the asset forfeiture trophies.
National news seems to tell a different story. Twenty-three states currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some form. Even our nation’s capital, Washington DC, has an initiative on the November ballot that will make it legal to posses and cultivate marijuana for personal use.
In neighboring Oregon, Proposition 91 looks to pass easily, and with good regulation and control, it will position the state to be the largest producer of legal marijuana in the country.
They join Wisconsin, Tennessee, West Virgina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Minnesota, Missouri, Maryland, Kentucky, Kansas, and Florida, all of which have either introduced legislation or placed measures on the ballot.
In 2016 there will be an initiative on the ballot in California that will make marijuana legal for adult recreational use.
Presented by the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform, the initiative will tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol; in fact, the regulation will be done by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
Then there are Washington and Colorado, two states with two different laws permitting sales of marijuana for recreational use in a highly regulated market place.
In Colorado the first six months of recreational sales produced $13 million in new tax revenue and there have been 10,000 new jobs created. Gov. John Hickenlooper, who originally opposed the amendment, now attributes Colorado’s robust economic recovery to marijuana sales.
The feds have agreed to not interfere in states with regulation as outlined in a memo from the US Department of Justice, citing the 10th Amendment rights of states to create these laws.
Lake County’s climate and unique landscape lend themselves to producing a top quality sungrown medicine (the industry’s name for cannabis grown outdoors). The science suggests that sungrown medicine is higher in cannabidiol content, which is the extract being used all over the world to cure epilepsy and other ailments.
So far our community leaders have lacked the creativity to come up with a solution that mitigates the negative impact of cultivation on our community, without instituting an all-out ban on cultivation.
Under the current law in Lake County less than 1 percent of the rural land is legal to use for marijuana farming. This is effectively a ban on cultivation.
Even patients who wish to grow their own must be fortunate enough to live on one acre or more outside of a community growth boundary (whatever that is). It could only be more of a ban if patients were required to have access to rainbows and possess a unicorn.
Why should our community be denied the tax revenue, jobs and economic opportunity that seems to follow everywhere legal marijuana goes?
Measure O on the November ballot is the only compromise being offered to a community weary of the debate.
Measure O is the only option presented that tries to balance the needs of the community with an emerging industry, poised to bring an economic windfall to Lake County.
Cannabis is not a crime, cannabis is an opportunity. Measure O is a positive step forward.
Michael Horner lives in Cobb, Calif.
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.
This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.
Powered by WPeMatico