Guest View: Clean up marijuana mess

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Last year the County Board of Supervisors passed regulations intended to put a halt to marijuana growing in the county until appropriate regulations could be passed.
Those regulations have not yet been adopted and the county ordinance which was supposed to have restricted marijuana growing in the county has had little effect on those persons who are intent on growing marijuana.
According to testimony at the last Board of Supervisors meeting there are hundreds of illegal marijuana grows and illegal expansion of hoop buildings is going on throughout the county at the present time.
Of those hundreds, only 23 applicants have come forward requesting approval to grow legally. Each of these applicants must be reviewed by county authorities and I understand the Sheriff’s Office has been involved in that review.
This is only right and proper.
For rather obvious reasons, the potential marijuana growers and those who are intent on making fortunes on marijuana have put a spin on this process to suggest that the sheriff is using grower applications to target the applicants.
I am sure the sheriff already knows were these growers are and probably the location of most of the other illegal grows.
When and if marijuana growing is allowed in the county all applicants must be investigated to determine if they meet regulations imposed by the County.
Obviously the Sheriff’s Office will be involved in this process and they should have additional resources for that job.
Potential growers believe the 55% county resident yes vote on propositions 64 was a mandate in support of recreational marijuana.
We will never really know why the proposition was approved. It may be that some felt the penalties were too harsh, or those who needed medical marijuana should be allowed to grow their own. It may not have been full fledged support for recreational marijuana.
I don’t think anyone should assume passage of Proposition 64 was a mandate for vast marijuana growing in our backyard. Is that what the citizens of this county want?
Please contact your supervisors and let them know how you feel.
We are a poor county in and it looks like many of the decisions that are being made are based on money. It has been said that we should follow the money trail if you want to know what is going on and who is behind the actions being taken.
It is shocking to me that sheriff and DA should be targeted in an effort to discredit them. Sheriff Thompson and DA Hooper are honorable people who have a tough job, and the recent guest editorial criticizing them is unjustified. I believe the Sheriff is seeking clarification and passage of a County Ordinance so he can clean up the mess that has now developed and move forward on necessary enforcement.

By Gary Cameron

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