Plumas County is our dream home in the mountains. We’re close to nature and the pristine beauty of the forests and abundant wildlife. Our county’s beauty and its lakes, streams and forests draw others here too, including tourists from all over the world.
All of this is in jeopardy if our supervisors allow commercial cannabis activity. Plumas County’s Cannabis Working Group is catering to local and out-of-county growers who are driven primarily by the money they can make by growing and selling marijuana. Worse, they seem to have little regard for our county’s environment, wildlife, health, safety and welfare of the people and families who live here.
The Cannabis Working Group has created a draft ordinance that is too permissive and that allows for marijuana dispensaries. It is not designed to protect the health and safety of the majority of the public — particularly children.
In addition, their draft ordinance does not provide a path for reducing the poisoning of wildlife or the clear-cutting of trees to make room for commercial marijuana grows. Nor will it reduce the likelihood of increases in crime related to marijuana, public nuisances, and people being hurt and even killed in vehicular accidents due to driving under the influence of marijuana.
The most disturbing side effect of their draft ordinance is the exposure of children and teenagers to marijuana plants and dispensaries. It would allow marijuana grows (private and commercial) and medical dispensaries only 1,200 feet from public and private schools. This is the distance of crossing Main Street in Chester.
We brought some of these issues to the attention of the working group committee during one of their meetings. A member responded by saying, “It’s no different than kids walking past liquor stores.”
During another meeting, we mentioned the problem with the draft ordinance that allows on-site consumption at medical marijuana dispensaries.
One of the group members became irritated by my statement and responded by saying, “I don’t see what the big deal is. People have drinks and socialize in bars, why can’t they smoke marijuana and socialize in a dispensary?”
This reasoning from someone who helped write a cannabis draft ordinance alarms us.
We learned of an alternate cannabis draft ordinance from a group called Concerned Citizens for a Reasonable Cannabis Ordinance (CGRCO).
Theirs does not allow commercial cannabis activity, which includes dispensaries. It allows for personal cultivation of six plants per residence, as allowed by state law. People who use it medically can grow their own plants or get it from another grower.
The CGRCO is by no means against those who use marijuana for medical reasons. This is reflected in the organization’s draft ordinance. We encourage everyone to go to the website at: plumasgrow.com to read it for themselves.
The draft ordinance gives us hope that Plumas County will not be taken over by small and large-scale commercial grows by private companies, cartels and medical dispensaries.
The people behind the Cannabis Working Group draft ordinance are dangling “golden carrots” by telling us how rich our county will become from the taxes they will pay. We don’t believe it, and neither should you.
The truth is that they won’t pay any taxes at all because cannabis businesses operate only on a cash basis. That’s why they deposit their cash in overseas banks. The truth is that they are the ones who will be enriched — not Plumas County. They care more about profiting from the Green Rush than about the welfare of our county.
If the Plumas County Cannabis Working Group’s draft ordinance is adopted instead of the much more responsible draft ordinance from the CGRCO, our county will be fundamentally changed.
We are committed to keeping Plumas County and my small town of Chester, which we all love, a beautiful, safe and peaceful place to live. It’s why we’re speaking out and doing what we think is right for my children and grandchildren.