A mixed group of Shasta County citizens packed the board of supervisors chambers Tuesday as a medical marijuana ordinance was discussed. Supervisors were considering an ordinance that would make all outdoor grows illegal in unincorporated areas.
But the board actually decided to go with a different plan.
They made two different motions Tuesday, both aim to fix major problems in the current ordinance, but they won’t fix them just yet.
Hours of testimony Tuesday morning, extended into Tuesday afternoon.
“These are not patients that have the AK47 in front of the grows,” said Hillary Crinner, a medical marijuana advocate.
“They are both about to die, and it all started with marijuana,” said Joanne Olen, an anti-marijuana advocate.
Tuesday’s meeting focused on how to fix Shasta County's broken marijuana ordinance. Only 15 percent of growers are in compliance.
“It is probably incumbent upon the medical marijuana community itself to do a better job of self regulating,” said Rick Simon of Shasta Counties Planning Department.
But pot advocates say the whole should not be punished for those who don't comply. They were against a plan to move all growing indoors.
“Over 50% of the people that come in are on social security and disability and these people do not have the resources it takes and money it takes to invest in indoor grows,” said a young medical marijuana advocate.
Those against pot spoke out, saying children are exposed to the drug when it’s grown outdoors.
“What about the children's rights, who is thinking about them, who is speaking up for them,” said Dolores Lucero.
Eventually a compromise was made, supervisors abandoned the original plan, a small victory for pot advocates.
“I think most people are happy to feel a little bit more represented and a little bit more heard,” said Alec Henderson, a medical marijuana attorney.
Supervisors decided to set up an advisory committee to research the issue.
“That would create consistency and balance for all aspects of the community,” said Shasta County CEO, Larry Lees.
Finally, Supervisor Moty motioned that the current ordinance be enforced more strictly and more quickly.
This is not the end of the discussion, the supervisors plan to adopt a new ordinance after further research. At that time, we will undoubtedly hear the same arguments again.