Nevada County marijuana cultivators plan to come out in force to push for ever more liberal policies on commercial marijuana. Protect Placer Coalition Against Commercial Marijuana is rallying those residents and organizations opposed to the commercial marijuana industry to appear at a public hearing tomorrow.
Concern for the impacts on the community culture of Placer and Nevada Counties, the group cite public health, safety and environmental dangers if the board of supervisors liberalizes the marijuana laws.
Details on the Marijuana Public Hearing
Mica Heilman, a Soil and Agricultural Scientist and a community organizer for the Protect Placer coalition asks local residents, businesses, and prevention activists to attend the Tuesday July 26, 2016 hearing and prepare a statement.
Please consider preparing a short testimony about why you are opposed to the expansion of commercial marijuana and attending the meeting to speak out.
Date and Time: Tuesday, July 26, 1:30 PM
Location: 950 Maidu Avenue, Nevada City, First Floor, Eric Rood Administrative Center
From their recent letter to the Placer County Board of Supervisors:
Nevada County would be among the first few California’s counties to “jump in with both feet” to legalized commercial marijuana production when so little precedent has been set, and when there are many consequences we cannot predict. Our concern is not centered on personal medical marijuana use. We are gravely concerned, however, about growing an excessive legal commercial marijuana industry in our exceptional county.
1. There is very clear evidence from other counties in California, as well as counties outside of California, that the following three things happen when commercial marijuana is allowed to increase:
1. The number of marijuana grows increase;
2. The size of marijuana grows increase;
3. The number of illegal, existing grows, does not decrease
4. Access by local youth increases
2. Regardless of potential rules for permitting commercial production, marijuana is still a federally controlled Schedule 1 drug. With other examples in California to learn from, it is clear that commercial marijuana production would foster more illegal drug trade in Nevada County that includes much “harder” drugs. This kind of industry draws people from outside our county who are willing to break the law. This has been evidenced in other areas and is already happening in Nevada County as parties across the country seek to descend on Nevada County and increase marijuana cultivation. There is not a shortage of medical marijuana in California, and additional production in Nevada County would simply fuel illegal trade and drug cartels.
3. Those that are growing illegally will likely continue to do so, as there is little incentive for them to come “out of the shadows.” Examples elsewhere have shown illegal production does not
decrease when permissive cultivation rules are adopted. A permissive or unclear ordinance will increase marijuana production in our county and the detrimental effects, including increased
youth access and use, increased crime, and increased DUI accidents, only making Nevada County less attractive to the families and businesses we want to attract and keep here!
4. There is increasing documentation about the unanticipated negative impacts of various loosening marijuana restrictions, including increases in homelessness and burdens on medical emergency facilities. Black market sales also increase when marijuana prices increase because of taxation, as it can be purchased cheaper illegally, further driving illegal drug circles. Nevada County must consider these costs and potential ways to offset them as a part of any ordinance permitting commercial cultivation.
5. Marijuana production has highly detrimental impacts on our natural resources, forest and watersheds. The concept of setbacks and limited production on larger parcels still creates a web of non-point source pollution and irrevocable damage to forest lands. Considerable thought should be given to zoning requirements for any commercial cultivation, avoiding residential and rural residential areas when the exposure is greatest and also avoiding productive forest lands where development puts those resources at risk for erosion, pollution and wildfire in remote areas that are the most difficult to respond to in emergencies.
6. Even if recreational marijuana is legalized in the November election, the issue of growing and distributing in Nevada County is an entirely different one. The California Use of Marijuana Act (Parker Initiative) that will be on the state ballot in November still allows for counties and other jurisdictions to decide how they want to approach marijuana operations. Limiting them in Nevada County now will prepare Nevada County regardless of the November election outcomes.
7. Marijuana produced commercially in our county will necessarily need to be transported out of it, across county lines and jurisdictions that have either banned marijuana production or otherwise have different regulations. We would therefore be creating more illegal activity in our state, and particularly in areas proximate to our county. Because of the patchwork nature of marijuana laws in our country and state, Nevada County would, without doubt, become a target or major center for drug trade if permissive laws are established.
8. The following problems and complaints have been associated with marijuana production:
- Drug trafficking organizations
- Home invasions/burglary
- Increase marijuana production
- Aggressive dogs
- Watershed erosion/pollution
- Increased traffic
- Butane honey oil labs
- Nuisance complaints (smell)
- Dead or sick animals
StopPot2016.com urges Californians to show up and be counted on any public hearing around the state. Since, as stated above, any marijuana grown in any county in the state will be exported to other counties, your community can be impacted by these decisions.
If you want to send a letter here is the Board of Supervisors address:
Nevada County Board of Supervisors
Board Chambers, First Floor
Eric Rood Administrative Center
950 Maidu Avenue
Nevada City, California