Follow the Measure B Money

Measure

The official title of Measure B, which will be on your November ballot, is the Medicinal and Adult Use of Cannabis Ordinance. You’d assume from that name that California never passed Prop. 64. Oddly lacking in its title is anything whatsoever about growing marijuana commercially, yet that is exactly what this measure is about.

Like virtually all initiatives, Measure B represents the agenda of those who wrote it, in this case a group of marijuana growers who have been producing crops locally in quantities that exceed the amount of medical marijuana that could ever be used by local patients. Where did the excess go? Exported out of county at a profit—for the growers, not for the county.

Measure B proponents speak nobly of helping wounded veterans, the ill, and the elderly by turning Plumas County into meadows of marijuana, but this is less about aiding medical marijuana patients than it is about making money—at the expense of the rest of us.

Measure B folks suggest that licensing fees and taxes will easily offset the county’s additional costs to administer and enforce their ordinance, but in a report to the Board of Supervisors, department heads expressed skepticism that revenue would be sufficient to cover anticipated costs.

Measure B gives a select few of the county’s residents priority in obtaining a license to grow commercially, yet its supporters pooh-pooh the notion that lawsuits will follow. But the Constitution’s equal protection clause virtually guarantees that Plumas will be sued by non-priority residents interested in cashing in here. It’s we the taxpayers who would be stuck with the cost of defending these suits, not the growers.

Like the old adage says, “Follow the money.” Then vote no on Measure B.

4 comments on “Follow the Measure B Money

  1. J. K. Shea says:

    Susan, I’m researching this issue and what concerns me the most of all you said is the statement that only certain growers get priority. Although I’m most sure I support commercial cannabis at all, I support equal rights and believe that businesses should compete on an equal playing field. I’m sick of the politics of business and business opportunities being reserved for “the elite.” What determines whether a grower is considered a “priority grower” as you describe? And what does being a priority grower mean? I.e. Only big corporates get licenses, or what? How would the non-priority growers be at a disadvantage compared to the priority growers? It would seem to make sense that under a pro-commercial growing measure, anyone with agricultural land could grow on their land but it sounds like you’re saying that’s not what would happen under this measure. Please explain.

    1. Patrick Luscri says:

      I can answer most of these questions.

      Measure B, the commercial cannabis initiative we’ll vote on in November, determines priority residents to be those already growing in Plumas who are also residents and have been for two years or more. Priority residents are given priority in getting licenses at a 9 to 1 ratio. And once they get their licenses, their licenses are transferrable to family members such as children. Non-priority residents can only apply for 10 percent of the available licenses.

      Have you read the FOR and AGAINST Measure B arguments here? http://www.countyofplumas.com/index.aspx?nid=142

  2. Susan Christensen says:

    Thanks, Patrick, for explaining the “priority” residents feature of Measure B. The mere fact that Measure B privileges the awarding of licenses to a specific and exclusive group bothers me greatly, in part because I’m quite fond of the 14th Amendment’s provision that all citizens must be afforded equal protection of the law. It speaks to my sense of fairness. But the existence of this guarantee under the 14th Amendment could also “bite us,” as it were, because anyone who HASN’T been a resident of Plumas County for years and HASN’T already been a grower here could bring suit against the County by claiming Measure B violates their right to equal protection. And if Measure B passes, it does become “the law of the land”; no entity, including the Board of Supervisors, will have any ability to change it in any way (short of a subsequent initiative that would negate it).

    Yet, if the County is sued, it is the County that will have to defend the law in court, NOT the growers who wrote the ordinance. And the cost of the County’s defense will be borne by every Plumas County taxpayer, not the growers. In other words, my sense of fairness is pricked by the fact that my tax money could be used, not for County-provided services that benefit all of us, but to defend against a lawsuit that will have originated because of an unfair and poorly written ordinance. Measure B is written so as to favor some people over others in the awarding of licenses to grow commercial Cannabis. I am inherently opposed to such favoritism, plus I don’t want to see the County spending its limited resources on lawsuits that could be avoided.

  3. Taurin Wilson says:

    As a third generation local, Plumas County residents getting priority access to licenses over out of town corporate interests addresses my principle concern about legal commercial cannabis in our county.
    People will buy cannabis in Plumas County whether it is legal or not, history has proven this to be true. My belief is that citizens of Plumas County who are purchasing cannabis would be safer doing so from a legal regulated source and that we as a county would be better off financially if we collected some revenue from this inevitability.
    Change and (financial) growth for Plumas is absolutely necessary if we are to continue to offer the great life style that made me chose to raise my children here. I want that change to be positive and the financial growth to be sustainable; I don’t want the source of financial growth to affect our way of life in a negative way. One of the best ways I can think of to ensure that the folks who foster growth in this county do so in a way that is congruent with the overall vision of the people who live here, is to put the power into the hands of people who live here, the people who are invested in the community. We don’t need boom and bust; we need sustainable, responsible growth, which is focused on and reflective of, local needs.

    Also, I am not associated with the authors of Measure B, and I have no personal need for commercial cannabis. I think everyone should vote their conscience, and to me priority access given to locals makes perfect sense and as someone who was born here it is a relief to me that it was included in measure B.

    Measure B’s inclusion of a local priority policy does not violate the 14th amendment, there are many instances where local priority policies are employed, for example many state colleges use a local priority policy for their enrollment process. As far lawsuits are concerned, CGRCO’s ordinance is based on Tehama County’s cannabis ordinance; Tehama County has had multiple lawsuits filed against it, at least six as of December 2017.
    Although to be completely fair, I wouldn’t be surprised if lawsuits were filed against the county as a result of which ever ordinance is chosen, we live in a litigious society.

    Thank you to the CGRCO, for providing a space for locals to voice their concerns on this important issue.
    Taurin Wilson

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