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Sheriff Hagwood should enforce moratorium ordinance

Local growers have been lamenting the public outcry against commercial cannabis activity. They say that they “won the right” to grow commercially with Prop. 215 (the Compassionate Use Act of 1996) and Prop. 64 (Adult Recreational Use 2016). These propositions only guarantee the individual right to grow six plants.

The municipalities and counties are in the first position to determine whether or not to permit commercial activity. To date, according to one Southern California cannabis consultant, 73 percent of counties (unincorporated areas within counties) and incorporated cities have banned commercial cannabis activity through ordinances or a moratorium —  scpr.org/news/2017/12/05/78423/buying-legal-marijuana-california .

Our county is part of that 73 percent. But many of our citizens believe that the right enforcement arm of the county is not empowered to shoulder the responsibility of enforcing the ban on commercial cannabis activity. We believe this responsibility should be placed in the hands of the Sheriff’s Department.

Two weeks ago a group of Plumas County leaders met to discuss how to best enforce the Marijuana Moratorium Ordinance. Supervisors Thrall and Engle, County Counsel Craig Settlemire, Sheriff Greg Hagwood and his undersheriff, Environmental Health Director Jerry Sipe, Planning Director Randy Wilson and County Building Official Chuck White were in attendance. As the Jan. 31 issue of the Feather River Bulletin article by Carolyn Ship noted, the County Supervisors have been inundated with emails from county residents who want the Cannabis moratorium enforced and wonder how this is going to be accomplished. Enforcement must “beat the growing season” or it will have little to no effect.

This meeting was one of two that occurred at the request of Chuck White, who will supervise the Code Enforcement officer. Traditionally this position has responded to citizen complaints about such things as lot line violations, ill kept property, unlicensed junkyards, unsanitary living conditions and other public nuisances, including cannabis cultivation. Supervisor Lori Simpson in the same article was asked: “Who is going to enforce the Cannabis Moratorium?” She is reported to have said the county has not had a code enforcement official for more than a year … and when we have one that official may request the help of a sheriff’s deputy when needed.

It does not appear that there will be a code enforcement officer any time soon. From what I have been able to ascertain, the Building Official has not been able to yet recruit a code enforcement officer for a number of reasons. The job description has changed, requiring union review and approval. This alone could take months, because the union does not understand the need for the changes. If union approval is obtained, the Human Resources Department and County Counsel must review the changes. Once this takes place, the Board of Supervisors must agenda the job description for discussion and approval. The position would then be advertised for at least 30 days; candidate applications must be reviewed, followed by interviews, selection of a successful candidate and background checks. Then there would have to a training period. It is very possible that this process could go on until late fall or winter.

Come spring when cannabis growers begin to plant, they would have cause for rejoicing for, as things stand there will be no enforcement arm for the county ban on commercial cultivation.

Our citizens are not raising their voices about lot line violations, ill kept property, unlicensed junkyards, even though these nuisances are of concern. But they pray that our leaders will act immediately so that the most effective arm of the county code and law enforcement will be in charge of enforcing the Moratorium.

Even if the situation were different and we presently had a code enforcement officer in place, would it be wise to send someone who was not a law enforcement officer to enforce the moratorium? Growers are often armed and they may have attack dogs protecting their crop, as is commonplace in counties that have permitted commercial cultivation. Only sworn safety officers have experience going into harms way. Sheriff’s deputies have experience dealing with people who are violating laws and ordinances. They are trained to use discretion and good judgment when they are in a situation that may be volatile. Moreover, Sheriff Hagwood is a seasoned professional who has led his department in a way that has brought acclaim and honor to local law enforcement. For these reasons I appeal to our Board of Supervisors to place the Sheriff’s Department in the first position to enforce the Moratorium.

22 thoughts on “Sheriff Hagwood should enforce moratorium ordinance

  • February 10, 2018 at 9:30 am
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    The above letter states a large amount of false information, just like the alternate plagiarized proposed ordinance does.
    The moratorium only pertains to commercial growing for recreational use, Section 11362.5 to the California Health and Safety Code has not been changed and SB 420 still applies. Existing, non-licensed medical marijuana collectives, which are currently authorized by state law SB 420, will cease to be lawful starting one year after the Bureau posts a notice that it has begun licensing (January 9, 2019). What this means is medical users can still grow 6 mature plants and up to 12 immature plants and SB 420, also, authorizes legal caregivers and collective/cooperative members to charge for their expenses in growing for…

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  • February 10, 2018 at 9:34 am
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    others on a “non-profit” basis. Growers who provide for others must either be members of a collective or be bona fide “primary caregivers.”

    It’s really sad that the county put in place a process to recommend an ordinance pertaining to the commercial growing of marijuana and after nine months of workshops and public hearings a rogue group appears, throwing the process into total chaos.

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  • February 12, 2018 at 6:49 am
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    Mr. Munoz please stop spreading false information.

    You seem to have an obsession with cannabis eradication, even going so far as to insult and degrade the character of a number of stand up citizens of Plumas county.

    I’m curious your position on cannabis as a spiritual sacrament? Surely you have no qualms with this?

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    • February 16, 2018 at 9:16 am
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      Howard sounds trapped within the confines of his circular logic.

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  • February 12, 2018 at 11:34 am
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    Joseph Munoz lol….why would this ever be taken seriously? Thanks for the laughs.

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  • February 12, 2018 at 12:27 pm
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    Mr Munoz is uninformed on this issue, what’s worse he doesn’t feel that it,s necessary for the CRGCO to educate themselves. There are no links to prop 64 on the CRGCO web site for members to educate themselves https://plumasgrow.com/ . In the comments section of “ABOUT CGRCO”, on their web site, the demonstrated lack of understanding of prop 64, and the fact that they make no attempt to provide educational material on prop 64 to members, was brought up. Mr Munoz had this to say;
    “We do not need to have a lawyerly grasp of 215 or 64 to know that Cannibis plantations are the greatest threat to our quality of life that we face today.”
    This is a statement of willful ignorance; unacceptable, particularly from a former educator.

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    • February 15, 2018 at 8:54 am
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      I don’t view it as willful ignorance that he says commercial cultivation is the greatest threat to our quality of life. Sounds pretty darn truthful to me!

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      • February 15, 2018 at 10:10 am
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        The statement, “Cannabis plantations are the greatest threat to our quality of life that we face today”, is his opinion he is entitled to that. Opinions are subjective, ignorance is objective, you either know something or not.
        The operative word in willfully ignorant, is willful, my comment was concerning him not feeling it necessary to have a comprehensive understanding of prop 64. I find it troubling to hear an individual, who is actively attempting to shape the legal construct of our community, saying that it’s not necessary to fully understand something to know it’s the worst thing we face today. He is placing himself in a position of controlling the choices of others while choosing not to educate himself on the issue.

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        • February 15, 2018 at 10:36 am
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          Controlling the choices of others? Fat chance. The voters of Plumas County have spoken and if you opened your eyes you could see. You say you’ve got no skin in the game? I for one sure don’t buy it.

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          • February 15, 2018 at 1:21 pm
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            Voters of Plumas County approved prop64. No other vote locally has taken place…yet

          • February 15, 2018 at 1:42 pm
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            All ordinances to some extent control the choice of others, this is not inherently a bad thing, I personally believe that one of the responsibilities of the government is to place reasonable controls on things that effect the safety of it’s citizens.
            What election are you referring to? The voters of Plumas county voted in favor of prop 64 Now it is up to interpretation as to whether or not they were voting for commercial or just personal, but at the very least the majority of Plumas county residents voted for less restrictions on personal cannabis.
            There is no way for me to prove to you that I have no interest in profiting from cannabis, so I’m afraid you have me at a disadvantage, therefore you’ll have to use your best judgment.

  • February 12, 2018 at 8:09 pm
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    “Local growers have been lamenting the public outcry against commercial cannabis activity. ”
    “As the Jan. 31 issue of the Feather River Bulletin article by Carolyn Ship noted, the County Supervisors have been inundated with emails from county residents who want the Cannabis moratorium enforced and wonder how this is going to be accomplished.”
    As someone who has no “skin in the game”, these two statements ring most true to me.
    The other commenters above obviously are very biased towards cannabis legalization. But if the community as a whole remains silent on their opinions, guess who wins? If it’s true you don’t want it you better speak up.

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    • February 13, 2018 at 8:34 am
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      ^
      I agree, and I am biased towards legalization, but to be clear I also have no “skin in the game” in the form of profit motive, if that’s what you meant(I wasn’t sure).

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  • February 13, 2018 at 7:38 am
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    The voters are who ‘wins.’ What started with medical usage as we worked towards decriminalization and finally recreational use and ending the prohibition. States rights and the state of California has spoken. Not all people are ok with it but the majority of people are. Don’t like it try Utah.

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    • February 15, 2018 at 8:59 am
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      Oh good a voice of reason. (sorta) Three cheers for the voters of Plumas County who vote no cultivation. If the growers don’t like it perhaps Utah is a better place. Or Texas?

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      • February 15, 2018 at 1:19 pm
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        In Plumas County more votes were cast in support of prop64 than against. Legalizing cannabis usage is popular around here. With that households can cultivate 6 plants. Approved in California and approved in Plumas County.

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        • February 15, 2018 at 1:58 pm
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          Six plants isn’t the issue here. Commercial cultivation is.

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          • February 15, 2018 at 3:51 pm
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            The CGRCO draft ordinance, places restrictions on six plant personal grows that impose an unreasonable financial burden on the grower, to the point that these restriction essentially equate to a de facto ban for most.

  • February 13, 2018 at 12:43 pm
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    I Feel the Sheriff and the Deputy’s have enough on their plate keeping us safe and not wasting time and energy Chasing around dealing with people’s agenda’s. Just let them continue protecting the county and it’s citizens.

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    • February 15, 2018 at 1:28 pm
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      Prediction: More people than ever will be getting busted for growing marijuana in California during 2018. If you don’t have a legal grow and California isn’t getting it’s cut the hammer will fall. Will be fun to make popcorn and watch.

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  • February 16, 2018 at 1:53 pm
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    Good thing all cultivation is a misdemeanor, even 20k plants. Just don’t have guns or a scale

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