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Is the future of cannabis in Plumas County based on compassion or fear?

I created PlumasFest, held Feb. 12 in Greenville, as a means to help heal our community around issues related to the legalization of cannabis in California. Regardless of whether one is pro, con or neutral, this transition for cannabis from black market to a well-regulated business is having a powerful, and sometimes painful, effect on all of us. I am happy to report that there was success at PlumasFest toward helping to heal some cannabis related wounds, for people on all sides of this issue.

To further address these fears, I will offer, during the coming 2018 growing season, to freely assist anyone who has a “neighbor problem” regarding cannabis cultivation. Whether the caller is cultivating cannabis, or has a problem with a neighbor who is cultivating, I will help if contacted. I am confident we can solve most of our problems with cannabis simply by acting as good neighbors.

Times of great change are also times of great uncertainty, and fear is a common human response to uncertainty. I have sadly witnessed fear expressed by persons on both sides. Simply stated, fear breeds more fear, until fear dominates and consumes all rational discourse. It would be so lovely if we could all just lay down our fears and talk as respectful citizens, but this simple Christian and neighborly approach is difficult for people consumed with fear.

When my wife, Judy Johnson, died tragically in the Canyon in 2010 after a large boulder collided with her vehicle, she left me with two great gifts: compassion and fearlessness. Her death forced me to recognize the compassion we need to appreciate the beauty of life, so that we can both give and receive compassion. Her death also showed me the transitory nature of life, and how we, with every breath, must follow our dreams.

Judy loved Greenville and Plumas County with a passion.  She often expressed regret as our Plumas communities “slowly wasted away.” To bring new jobs to Greenville, she convinced me, in 2009, to leave retirement and re-start my MiniFlex Microphone business.    Once Judy passed, I felt no purpose in life except to follow her dream, our dream, of bringing new life to our beloved town of Greenville. Armed with this new fearlessness, I expanded MiniFlex Microphones, opened a retail Music Store (MusicLand), started the Gift of Music Program to bring free arts and music education to the community, and I am now doing basic scientific research to explore developing new health products from cannabis … especially for pets and livestock.

Cannabis was an important part of a healthy life for me and Judy. It helped her walk away from a growing alcohol problem, and later proved to be an effective tool for helping to manage her pain as she aged. For me it was a soothing (and not addictive) balm after her passing.

My research with cannabis began last summer, after I was encouraged by a well-reputed business consultant to consider the many potential benefits of an expanded medical cannabis industry in Plumas County. For such research in 2018-19, I will need an acre of cannabis plants using eight to 10 different varieties (never being sold, only for R&D). Where will this raw material come from if everyone can only cultivate 6 plants?

My previous sentence referring to an “expanded medical cannabis industry in Plumas County” is significant.  What the current Moratorium ignores is the fact that for the past 20 years, Plumas County has had an active and legal local medical cannabis industry effectively regulated by the local Sheriff’s Office, until, in February 2016, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to hand cannabis supervision to the Plumas Planning Department. Having failed to pass an ordinance governing commercial cannabis activities in Plumas County, the Board has recently decided to return regulation oversight to the Sheriff’s Office, but with the draconian prohibition of making all cannabis activities illegal except for personal six-plant grows.

This sudden flip flop by the Board of Supervisors has sent a ripple of fear through many Plumas County residents, and is a decision which I find to be cruel and unreasonable. These unreasonable restrictions hurt our most vulnerable community members, our sick, our elderly and our veterans who need low cost, or free medical cannabis products, and may be too ill to grow six plants for themselves. It also unfairly makes outlaws of otherwise law abiding cannabis cultivators who are begging the Board of Supervisors to pass a reasonable ordinance so the industry can be locally regulated, taxed and licensed.

Do we wish to show that we in Plumas County are a kind, compassionate and enlightened people? Or do we prefer to show ourselves as a people consumed with fear? Are those of us who call ourselves Christians really capable of showing compassion to the sick and elderly among us as Jesus taught? Or, will we be like all the “good people” who turned the other way when a fellow citizen was in need, and compassion was left to an outsider, a “Good Samaritan.” For myself, the only path I can consider is that of the Good Samaritan. The needs of my neighbors and community are far too important for me to cower before the forces of fear, ignorance or prejudice.

This is a moment where we need to step away from our fears, and trust the compassion of our fellow citizens.  I invite every citizen of Plumas County to join me on this journey of trust and compassion. Together, we can mend our fences, heal our wounds and find common ground to move forward toward a better future for our entire community.

23 thoughts on “Is the future of cannabis in Plumas County based on compassion or fear?

  • A mature, sober reflection of the current cannabis situation in Plumas County; well put thank you.
    Count me in on team compassion.

    • Fat chance, don’t want your dope or the headaches that go with it. Take your utopia elsewhere please.

      • More like fat j. Smell that. That’s the warm smell of colitas mixed with some democracy. I recommend a mild indica to start with and see what that does for your headache. As for the uptightness you might need something a bit stronger. Whatever you do stay away from opioids. They hand those suckers out like Halloween candy around here.

        • Your mind is obviously gone. Sorry to see.

        • Fool yourself because you can’t fool me.
          Drugs are for losers.

  • Your love of and care for your community is very commendable. However, I hope people can see through your passive-aggressive approach. You say that people who are against commercial cannabis are not kind, compassionate, caring, Christian, Jesus loving people. They are depriving “our sick, our elderly and veterans” of their “medicine”. People in this county have been getting marijuana delivered directly to their homes for years now. They have it delivered by a medical dispensary. We don’t need a commercial cannabis industry for these people to get their “medicine”. Stop playing the “sick, elderly, veteran” deprivation card. It has nothing to do with commercial cannabis in Plumas county.

    • ^ Delivery services are expensive, the cost difference between buying cannabis delivered to your home, and giving your prescription to a neighbor or friend, who can grow you a years supply for free or very little, is huge. Delivery is not an economically viable solution for many.

      • Really?

        I called Plumas Counties closest dispensary today and inquired. They offer overnight FedEx delivery to your door at $20. Free if you order $200 or more of their products. One gram of bud sells there sells for $18. That sure makes it sound like home delivery IS an economically viable solution if you are looking for legal dispensary buds..

        Of course you course you can grow six plants in your back yard and share them too. That’s legal, everybody knows that. So HeartofPlumas remind me again what your issue is?

        • Note to self.. Proof read!

          • $18 a gram, thanks, that actually helps enforce the point I’m making. That’s about one joint, if that, I generally consume three to five joints a day. For some people one joint a day is sufficient, folks with cancer or the terminally ill often need more than I consume, to sufficiently manage their pain.
            Even if someone were to consume one joint a day, that would be $540 a month, at that price, or $6,570 a year. Three joints a day would come out to $19,710 a year.

            Right now you can “grow six plants in your back yard and share them”, and that works for folks who can grow their own just fine (myself included), but, if the CGRCO ordinance were to be adopted you would no longer have that option.

    • Bringing back the Oklahoman with another commentary from a contributor. You know there’s a dude in Idaho camped out in his freedom bunker super annoyed that he hasn’t seen a Trent Saxton letter in weeks.

  • Ken, your reasoning does not sit well with me. After reading about what happened in Caleveras County, I hope commercial cannabis does not become well established in Plumas County. If people need cannabis for medical reasons they can go to Reno and buy it there. Or, they can grow their own for personal use.

    • This article is more about re-establishing a pre-prop 64 medical cannabis system that worked in Plumas County, not the all out commercial recreational system that Calaveras used. It doesn’t need to be all or nothing, there are many shades of grey to this is issue.
      “They can go to Reno and buy it there. Or, they can grow their own for personal use.”
      This is a solution only if you can afford to drive to another state and buy what you need.
      Also, under a proposed indoor requirement for personal/medical grows, the cost and complication to “grow their own” would go up significantly; these solutions only work if you have enough money. The people of Plumas did not vote to restrict medical access, commercial is debatable.

  • “They can go to Reno and buy it there. Or, they can grow their own for personal use.”
    This is a solution only if you can afford to drive to another state and buy what you need.

    That’s the way it’s been for years. Now with prop 64 you or a friend can legally grow six plants. Someone here once said it wasn’t hard to get five pounds of bud per plant. Multiply that by six and I come up with 30 pounds. Sounds like one six plant backyard grow would be enough for the medical patient, the person who grew it with some left over for everyone else on the block.

    Life in the outback sometimes has it’s little inconveniences. But we’re a resourceful lot ’round here. Figure something out and deal with it.

  • Six plants is enough for one person and It is possible to get five pounds from one plant, but only if you are very good at growing, and only when grown outdoor. Most people only get around a half a pound per plant, outdoor, indoor you only get one to four ounces per plant.
    Despite the passage of prop 64, the CGRCO proposed ordinance would ban all outdoor growing for personal and medical. An indoor requirement means much smaller harvests, that cost substantially more to produce. Some simply can’t afford the cost of the equipment required to grow indoor, this effectively cuts off access to the people who don’t have a lot of money, which includes elderly people living on limited resources, and disabled folks who can’t work.

  • Oh malarkey!

    My husband who rarely smokes pot spent a half hour reading up on the internet then just for shits and giggles, grew two plants in our sun starved east Quincy backyard and harvested nearly ten pounds. He can’t hardly give it away as his friends don’t smoke the stuff either.

    Obviously growing pot isn’t rocket science. If my hubby can do it, anyone can do it.

    • I must agree with Beverly.

      I believe that proposal (which is just one of three) used language largely to the effect you had to grow inside a secure structure. If you were not paying attention while you read, it did not define secure. So forty dollars worth of 2X4’s and plastic wrap and away you go. Big deal.

      HeartofPlumas I also wish you would turn off your doom and gloom nonsense. It makes my cat vomit.

      • Well.. He doesn’t make my cat vomit but the constant whining is starting to remind me of the road gear on a old 8N Ford tractor.

      • I was paying attention, were you?
        From the CGRCO web site: The cultivation of cannabis must be conducted within a detached fully enclosed secure accessory structure conforming to the following standards:
        Walls and roofs must be constructed of solid materials that cannot be easily broken through, such as two inch by four inch or thicker studs overlaid with three-eighths inch or thicker plywood or the equivalent.
        Exterior walls must be constructed with non-transparent material. Plastic sheeting, regardless of gauge, or similar products do not satisfy this requirement.

        Can your cat read, or are you reading my posts to it? If so, that’s nice of you, either way you should get that cat checked. Thanks have a good day.

    • Oh yeah.
      I have friends on the coast who grow outdoor plants which can produce over 10 pounds dried and manicured and have heard of single plants which came in closer to 20.

      Five pound plants aren’t anything special.


    • Wow, that’s wonderful, two things though:
      1) This is a biological product, you can’t count on things being the same every year, my first year was a bumper crop, other years not so much; this is the reason farm subsidies exist.

      2) If Plumas adopts an indoor only ordinance, your husband will no longer have that freedom. Your husband would need to buy lighting, fans, carbon filters, and possibly a hydroponics system, then you will need to have an accessory building that conforms to building code, or show “hardship or good cause” to grow inside your house.

      • Sorry wrong place, the comment above was for Beverly.

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