SLO County debates marijuana regulations as growers rush in

July 27, 2016

Pot grow 9

With marijuana growers and armed guards flooding into California Valley, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors discussed putting a halt to new cannabis cultivation. The board majority decided to pursue an urgency ordinance on the matter, but it does not currently have the four votes required to adopt the moratorium.

On Tuesday, supervisors Debbie Arnold, Lynn Compton and Frank Mecham voted to direct county staff to draft an urgency ordinance that would impose a countywide moratorium on new marijuana grows and would limit the amount of cultivation allowed in residential areas. Supervisors Adam Hill and Bruce Gibson cast the dissenting votes.

Hill said marijuana is going to be a big industry in California, and SLO County must capitalize on it.

“For us not to see our role in it, in the most regulated and legal way, I think we will be missing a lot of opportunities,” Hill said. “Many agriculturists are going to want to grow this crop.”

Hill also said he opposes an urgency ordinance because he does not want to see it result in drug raids.

Sheriff Ian Parkinson rebuffed Hill’s use of the word raids saying that his deputies knock on doors and ask to see permits they do not go in with tanks and camouflage. Parkinson also noted that marijuana growers are causing problems in California Valley.

“I want to spend zero time on this, but when they are going on other people’s property or destroying the county, it needs to be addressed,” Parkinson said. “It boils down to, do you support the safety of that community out there? We are asking simply for some rules.”

Growers reportedly poured into the sparsely populated California Valley, located at the eastern edge of the county, after a marijuana magazine stated SLO County does not have any regulations and is tolerant of large marijuana grows. Marijuana growers from the Central Valley have likened the opportunity to the Gold Rush.

Law enforcement estimates there are currently more than 100 fenced, half-acre to two-and-a-half-acre pot farms in the area. Farmers operating there are growing cannabis that will be sold to medical marijuana cooperatives.

Residents and visitors in the area have seen men with guns protecting the pot farms. Also, a soldier reportedly ran into armed gunmen protecting a grow.

The supervisors are expected to vote on an urgency ordinance next month. Gibson and/or Hill would have to change their positions in order for the moratorium to pass.

Despite the split vote on the moratorium, the supervisors all agreed to discuss permanent marijuana regulations following a November ballot measure on the legalization of recreational use of cannabis. The supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to direct staff to prepare a marijuana ordinance following the November election.


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Perspicacious

Great, oak trees are important enough for an emergency ordinance but dirtbags growing the hippie lettuce aren’t?


jimmy_me

Compton and Arnold are hypocrites. They vote against anything that regulates grape growing but don’t hesitate to regulate cannabis growers. I wonder how they justify such hypocrisy.


Pelican1

Maybe, and I’m just spitballi’n here, because one crop is LEGAL and the other ISN”T?!


jimmy_me

If laws are being broken, why isn’t Parkinson arresting them all?


miles archer

Uh-uh…it’s because corporate wine is in their pockets and the other isn’t…yet. (and believe me it’s coming whether you like it or not)


kayaknut

but it’s okay for Hill and Gibson to vote for something when someone connected to the issue donates to Hill or Gibson’s campaign or to a certain spouse’s (cough cough) non-profit organization, even if originally (before the donations) they were on the opposite side? Now who’s the real hypocrites?


obispan

So NOW the County wants to pay attention to California Valley. A friend lived just north on 58 growing up because his Dad was head of the CalTrans Maintenance Station. He sat on the roof and watched the drug planes land, unload, and take off. Stories of people driving on the wrong road at the wrong time chased by armed men on motorcycles. The Sheriff was fully aware of this and ignored it, too remote, too many resources required. The County also allowed, I don’t know if they still do, an incredibly corrupt CSD to be looted of taxpayer funds for decades.


SLOBIRD

Sp, let me understand the Hill and Gibson, Democratic GREEN Progressive Liberals don’t care about water use/abuse. electricty use/abuse in the winter, property rights, illegal drugs (it is not certainly in California). law enforcement manpower use, the two same thugs that took our plastic bags, air quality, water management all on behalf of the environment don’t care about what it is happening in California Valley BECAUSE IT WILL BRING MORE TAX MONEY TO THE COUNTY, or, IS IT BECAUSE THEY WILL HAVE A PERSONAL SUPPLY FOR THEIR USE.


There is no way I would send law enforcement go out there at night without backup which becomes an issue for the citizens living out there.


Carpenter for Supervisor!


jimmy_me

Clear-cut land for vineyards, pump the land dry to create reservoirs to water vineyards, and the SLO county government does nothing (not including a temporary watered-down ordinance that is nothing short of laughable). Plant a few acres of cannabis, and the government jumps into action to stop it and/or tax it to death. Anything to keep the price high.


I’m not sure who the bigger joke here is: Parkinson or the board of supervisors. Our leaders have no integrity or sense of fairness whatsoever. Follow the buck… keep fighting the lost war on drugs at any cost.


abigchocoholic

First I’m not an advocate for legalizing marijuana.

——————-

She says (as she pops her prescription pain pills in the morning, sips a few martinis in the evening and downs a couple of sleeping pills before she gets into bed) “marijuana is a schedule 1 drug and shouldn’t be legal”.


just thinking

…the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming ! These farms in California Valley were put there due to the remoteness and NOTHING was there.

The only reason the general population now knows is the media giving the politicians the ability gin up a cause. The Sheriff has jumped on board as it means potentially more of a rationalization to increase their Budget. The agencies setting up a new tax will be County and State Fire.

All because the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!


SLO_Johnny

Just make pot legal and then people will grow their own at home. It’s not like it is tough to grow. They don’t call it “weed” for nothing. The stuff grows like a weed. All of these issues go away if pot is selling for $5 per ounce instead of $400 an ounce. Commercial growers can focus on growing hemp for cloth and rope. It’s better for the environment than cotton.


It is past time to end Prohibition; whether it involves alcohol or drugs. Spend the money on education and drug rehabilitation instead of spending it on cops, courts, and prisons. Prohibition didn’t work, hasn’t worked, and never will. It’s time to end Richard Nixon’s “War on Drugs”.


abigchocoholic

Wow, I almost thought I wrote that.


Exactly.


kayaknut

Yes, the new “War on the Middle Class” it so much more profitable, as long as you are not in the middle class that is.


Mr. Holly

First I’m not an advocate for legalizing marijuana. If there is a medical need, and it appears that there may be, it certainly can be addressed in a more professional manner like other medicines.

With that said it appears that there is a very high possibility that the marijuana initiatives will pass. If they do pass it would make it legal to grow. Trying to be fair why is it being signaled out for extra fees and taxation. Yes it will come with baggage as it currently is being grown. Limiting the acreage etc. due to this seems peculiar as the 1000 of acres of vineyards also come with baggage, just ask the folks whose wells have gone dry. Is there any tax or fees on vineyards? They just keep adding more and more acres. A crop is a crop. In the long run this will end up to be a multi thousand dollar law case that the county will be involved in.

What’s the answer? I don’t know but fair is fair. Lets limit the vineyards and tax and fee them and use that money for the possible marijuana problem?