Measure B and Dr. Kepple’s ribs

Plumas

You’re reading this because I broke three of Dr. Jeff Kepples’ ribs. Wait. What I mean to say is that Dr. Kepple broke his ribs while tangling with me in the garden of the home where C.S. Lewis wrote The Chronicles of Narnia.

I’ll explain. I met Dr. Kepple and his wife, Tracy, at a C.S. Lewis conference in Oxford, UK, in 2005. After the conference, we stayed at C.S. Lewis’ former home. Not knowing Dr. Kepple well and after hearing him say he wrestled in high school, I asked him to show me a wrestling move.

I remember Tracy looking very concerned. She knew what I now know—her husband is extremely competitive. She feared this might not end well. It didn’t.

Three broken ribs later, I felt badly that the doctor had hurt himself throwing me down and landing on me. Feeling strangely responsible, I asked him and Tracy what I could do to make it up to them.

“Come visit us in Quincy,” she said cheerfully. Much more cheerfully than her husband looked at the time in bed and in pain. I took her up on the offer in the fall of 2007. That’s when I fell in love with Quincy … and with Plumas County.

Smitten by the Sierras

Four years later, in the summer of 2011, I moved here. A month after that, I met my wife. Seven years and many hikes, rides and drives through our beautiful Sierra Nevada county later, I truly love the place.

We bought a home in Quincy, which I’ve been remodeling since 2012. My wife has a dental practice on Main Street. She grew up here. We love our little county and want it to stay lovely, quirky and slightly hippy. We don’t want it to go to pot. Well, not all the way to pot.

We’re fine with six plants per adult per residence per Prop. 64. Same with medical cannabis and patients and veterans who rely on it. I should know—I’m a patient and a veteran. I use CBD oil-infused gummies for pain.

What we’re not fine with is this:

Up to 50 pot farms that could produce up to a million pounds of bud per year in Plumas. Or up to 26 dispensaries. Or “priority residents” bogarting 90 percent of Measure B licenses and exempting themselves from environmental oversight—and our ability to protest large grows near our homes.

What we’re not fine with is Measure B’s unconstitutional license monopoly scheme that will invite lawsuits against the county that we taxpayers will pay for. Or that if Measure B passes, our supervisors can’t change one stinking word in its ordinance.

Scary stuff

Here’s a scary truth: If we pass Measure B, it becomes law AS IS. No tweaks, no changes, and no chance to make it less bad and mitigate some of the collateral damage it will surely wreak on our county.

Look, I get it. Measure B authors and backers want to make money growing and selling a product they care about. I’m not against farming or farmers. My grandparents were farmers. My mom grew up farming in Iowa. I was born in corn country.

I know that some who are behind Measure B are good people. I believe them when they say they just want to make a living and help patients. Personally, I’d like to see cannabis rescheduled federally and studied honestly and extensively.

If it can cure cancer and treat epilepsy and many other maladies, more power to scientists and health professionals as they research its potential benefits.

Profit before patients

I also know that some who are behind Measure B are NOT driven by patient access or a genuine desire to be regulated or a thriving, healthy economy for Plumas County.

They’re driven by profit and greed and a desire to enrich themselves in spite of all the negatives that counties like Humboldt, Siskiyou, Mendocino, and Calaveras are fighting right now because they allowed commercial cannabis.

How do I know what Measure B backers think? I read what they write.

As Webmaster for PlumasGrow.com and social media guy for our Cannabis Citizens Group’s Facebook page at facebook.com/plumasgrow, I read virtually everything Measure B backers write online.

And what they write in their Facebook group posts and comments tells me all I need to know about what they really think about Measure B, law enforcement, local healthcare professionals, supervisors, neighbors and fellow residents who disagree with them about commercial cannabis in Plumas County.

Many Measure B backers can seem reasonable and winsome in public. Most of us can. It’s what they share in the pseudo-safety of their formerly members-only social media group that reveals their true motives and desires. No one is spared from slander—not even Dr. Kepple.

I wrote this because I truly care about the character of our county. I moved here because I fell in love with its creeks and rivers, peaks and valleys. I was and am floored by its majestic views and clean, fresh pine scents.

Like you, I don’t want to stumble on an illegal grow while hiking in unincorporated woodsy areas because growers choose to flaunt our cannabis moratorium—as many are doing right now. So much for their saying they just want to be regulated.

Profit before Plumas

I don’t want to see people who value profit over Plumas prospering while lowering our quality of life. I don’t want to witness a sudden influx of others coming to Plumas to get in on the Green Rush.

Measure B backers admit that a population surge brought on by commercial cannabis activity will trigger a need for more social services. Question: Why make an existing problem worse with commercial cannabis and then compound that problem by adding a host of new problems?

And herein lies the BIG problem: Bringing commercial cannabis to our county via Measure B will create many more negatives than positives. The county says costs of enforcement, regulation, additional staff and other unforeseen expenses will offset revenue Measure B will create.

Measure B backers have no answers for those in other counties who’ve seen drastic and negative changes to their quality of life and are now telling the truth about commercial cannabis.

Measure B is too much, too fast. Let’s vote it down and encourage our supervisors to create a smart and reasonable cannabis ordinance. This is all we’ve ever wanted.

All I want is to freely and safely enjoy my adopted county and make it up to Dr. Kepple—and his ribs—by helping him preserve everything we all love about Plumas. Thank you for standing with us. Please encourage friends and family to Vote NO on Measure B.

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