Just say no

This newspaper was bombarded last week with questions and requests for opinion space to weigh in on the draft commercial cannabis ordinance winding its way through the Plumas County Board of Supervisors’ process. It was all anti-grow in varying degrees. One of the questions we invariably were asked was, “Why hasn’t the newspaper weighed in yet?”

There are a few reasons. First, it has been a busy summer with wildfires, evacuations and other mayhem claiming our attention while the cannabis meetings played out in the background. We sent reporters to each event and they wrote about the comments made pro and con. Secondly, we didn’t want to opine too soon; we wanted to see how the process played out. And thirdly, we were like many county residents; we were a bit of a sleeping bear. But now that we see the direction the county is moving in, the hibernation period has ended.

Plumas County must say NO to commercial cultivation and join the vast majority of its counterparts across the state that have already weighed the pros and cons and come out with a simple “no commercial cultivation” decision. There are a host of reasons to deny commercial growing which include, but are not limited to, crime, environmental damage, quality of life, health, unforeseen consequences, property values and the county’s image … we don’t want to be identified as “Plumas — the Pot County.”

We like what Dr. Jeff Kepple wrote in a letter to the board of supervisors that has been circulating on social media. Here is an excerpt: “I believe the current draft ordinance sets the stage for Plumas County being identified and landmarked as the ‘pot county.’ Besides the 7-feet high obtrusive fences and large square footages of land being devoted to growing cannabis, I believe the message sent to ourselves, our children and our visitors is the wrong one. I would like to see our county continue to grow a reputation for healthy living, gardening, co-ops, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, fishing, birding, downtowns, friendly and inclusive people, strong Rec departments, dynamic college and high school athletic and academic programs, as well as a prolific and thriving arts community.”

We couldn’t agree more. Plumas is just beginning to cultivate the full potential of all that it has to offer thanks to the efforts of individuals who are aggressively marketing this county by developing and promoting our outdoor recreational assets.

A lot of the correspondence received this past week has taken issue with the makeup of the working group charged with developing the draft ordinance, which is described as stacked with pro-grow individuals who have personal interest in advancing commercial cultivation in the county. The critics say that the supervisors should have assured that the committee was balanced and been proactive in recruiting anti-grow proponents to serve alongside pro-grow individuals. Perhaps they should have, but there’s still time to correct the trajectory of this committee. Patrick Luscri, the individual behind Plumas People Opposed to Commercial Cannabis, has suggested three alternatives for the supervisors: disband the current working group and attain a more balanced makeup; scrap the draft ordinance and explore using another county’s ordinance or restart the process. Time is ticking.

The current committee has done a good job of holding meetings throughout the county and collecting input. But now even more opinions are flowing in and perhaps it would be best for the board of supervisors to hear directly from its constituents. If that sentiment continues to be overwhelmingly anti-grow, it would be most expedient to not reinvent the wheel, but to adopt an ordinance that has already been vetted by another county. Tehama and Lassen have been named as two possibilities. We urge Plumas County residents to make their opinions on this matter heard.

10 thoughts on “Just say no

  • September 15, 2017 at 4:31 pm
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    I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Jeff Kepple. I have sent letters to each of the supervisors expressing a similar opinion. If the sentiment of constituents is overwhelmingly anti-grow, then I also agree with Patrick Luscri: disband the group, scrap the ordinance, or restart the process.

    I just read an article in the SF Chronicle about California’s migrating homeless population, and was relieved to see Plumas County was not a hotspot for homeless, but our neighbors are. Chico’s Mayor Sean Morgan said they have lots of service organizations, a compassionate community, a first-rate hospital, a great climate – and – marijuana fields everywhere. He said “We attract all these people.” He’s absolutely right. If Plumas County is a designated pot county, we too will attract all these people, for the wrong reasons.

    The tax money generated in a pot growing county is awfully tempting, but shortsighted in the long run. Plumas County must say NO.

    • September 19, 2017 at 11:59 pm
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      You obviously have never tried to grow anything in this county. If you did you would know that it is very difficult to grow any crop. This is not a cannabis friendly environment. The people like myself that have figured out how to grow in this harsh environment should be allowed to continue. My medicine is currently helping people with cancer, Alzheimer’s, leukemia, ptsd, insomnia. Anxiety, adhd, autism, arthritis, and many other ailments.
      Don’t comment on something you haven’t tried because one right wing trump supporting doctor doesn’t agree with it.
      Form your own opinion!

  • September 16, 2017 at 9:40 am
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    Please keep in mind that we are not deciding if people grow cannabis in Plumas county, cannabis has been and invariably will be grown in this county whether it is legal or not. This is an opportunity to decide if we would like to regulate a pre-existing industry.

  • September 16, 2017 at 1:38 pm
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    Shouldn’t we be more worried about the fact that this county has the highest over dose percentage in CA for heroin… Im a Marine Vet and I use cannabis on the daily to sleep and not wake up with explosions and gun fire ringing in my ears. I lead a busy life and work hard to provide for myself. I don’t have time to grow, nor do i have time to drive out of state to Reno to get what I need. I get that this is all political but what about the people, Im not a ” stoner ” by any means. Cannabis is going to remain in this county either way. Now is just going to be harder for ” grandma Pam ” to get meds for her cancer. She has to go give her money to NV, or buy some from a shady guy named Dave behind the Dollar General, that is most likely not going to be what she needs or wants. That’s just an example.

  • September 16, 2017 at 2:19 pm
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    Iv smoked cannabis for longer than i can remember and my psychologist says it has had no long term effects apart from obesity and bed sores . therefore i highly recommend you allow cultivation

  • September 16, 2017 at 3:23 pm
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    I understand the fear and stigma around the cannabis/pot/Marajuana industry. Illegal grows create a lot of problems and attract unsavory people.. The problem with just saying no is that there already are LOTS of illegal grows in plumas. Counties that just say no are not going to get state funded support to regulate illegal grows.
    I have seen a lot of small communities change with the influx of new industry or corporate interests. I DO NOT want to see that happen to plumas.
    I would like to see small local farmers making some money to create some abundance in this county. This county is dying and needs some new life. The answer is not no. The answer is let’s give good people a chance. I am a young man trying to play by the rules, pay my taxes and be a good community member. I’ve taken a property that was once a meth lab junk yard and have made it into a functional farm. I just bought an old firetruck to protect myself and my community. Why would you say no to me?

  • September 17, 2017 at 7:28 am
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    What an uninformed and backwards editorial. It’s embarrassing, fulled with half truths and bigotry.
    Plumas County has done so much good work towards bringing cannabis out of the hills and in to safe, legal grows. Now, months too late, Plumas News regurgitates all the ignorance of the last 40 years. You should be ashamed.
    Legalized, make a commercial framework, and let people be.

  • September 18, 2017 at 8:04 am
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    All those things listed by Mr Kepple are great, but what about jobs and industry? What about a jobs beyond logging, the hospital, the college, the usda, and minimum wage service jobs?

  • September 18, 2017 at 10:27 am
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    A safe responsible Cannabis industry and “Healthy living, gardening, co-ops, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, fishing, birding, downtowns, friendly and inclusive people, strong Rec departments, dynamic college and high school athletic and academic programs, as well as a prolific and thriving arts community”, are not mutually exclusive concepts. Having few jobs and very limited tax revenue does in a very real way limit Plumas county’s ability to support all of these things. This article is a disappointingly myopic and ill informed.

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