Posted: Friday, 18 January 2008 2:49PM
PotMendocino County authorities say a marijuana growing operation discovered near the Eel River may have caused $1 million in environmental damage.
A sheriff's spokesman says when deputies served warrants on the 2,000-plant indoor growing operation near Highway 162 Wednesday, they found hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel and other petroleum waste had been dumped into an open pit a half mile uphill from the river.
Authorities have arrested two Southern California men they say ran the operation.
Thirty-three-year-old Marco Guerra of Downey and 29-year-old Anthony Kim of La Mirada are being held on suspicion of manufacturing illegal substances, and being armed in the commission of a felony.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Measure B - Listen/View online
- WATCH - Measure B debate / MCTV (cable ch 3) -- 05.05.08 - 8:15pm & 05.06.08 - 7:00pm
- LISTEN - Yes on Measure B / KMEC - 04.15.08
- LISTEN - Measure B debate / Ukiah City Council - 04.14.08
- WATCH - Measure B debate / Ukiah City Council - 04.14.08
- LISTEN - Measure B / KZYX - 04.10.08
- LISTEN - No on Measure B / KMEC - 04.08.08
What is Measure B & why is it needed?
Quotes of interest
-- Tom Allman, Mendocino County Sheriff, when speaking on marijuana laws (Press Democrat 06/06/07)
“The citizens of Mendocino County deserve clarity with respect to marijuana cultivation limits and enforcement against abuses...”
-- Laura Hamburg, No on Measure B, (March 12, 2008)
On the question of marijuana & methamphetamine in Mendocino County:
“…have you found an interconnectedness?”
Loren, panel member,
“The connections that I’ve seen with methamphetamine and marijuana is…I was doing runs down to the city with pounds of weed to trade straight across for methamphetamine that I was bringing back, so to say ‘yes' it does fund some of the methamphetamines that are coming into this county, because to trade straight across I mean, we’re bringing huge amounts back for no cash. We are just growing weed and trading it…
--- KZYX , The Access Program live interview, Ukiah CA, 03/07/08
School, district and community barriers to improvements in student achievement:
"The prevalent use and societal acceptance of marijuana is a unique challenge to this area."
--- Dennis Willeford, Principal of Ukiah High School, Single Plan for Student Achievement at Ukiah High School report as revised November 7th, 2007 to the Ukiah Unified School District Governing Board.
"Growers have come to Mendocino County from out of state because they erroneously believe it's legal to grow marijuana there."
--- Susan Jordan, Attorney (Press Democrat 06/06/07)
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Posted: Friday, 18 January 2008 2:49PM
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Published on January 8, 2008
© 2008- The Press Democrat
BYLINE: MIKE GENIELLA
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT PAGE: B3
UKIAH -- Unhappy Mendocino County residents today will push the Board of Supervisors to voluntarily allow voters in June a chance to repeal the county's marijuana policy.
A citizens group calling itself ``Restore Mendocino'' said it will ask supervisors to place on the June 5 ballot an ordinance to repeal landmark Measure G. When passed in 2000, Measure G was the first in the United States to decriminalize marijuana for personal use, earning the county a national reputation as a haven for marijuana growers.
But seven years later, Measure G is being blamed for a surge in Mendocino marijuana production, and a host of crime-related problems. Critics contend the county's pro-medical marijuana policy has become a ``farce.''
``Measure G is not about medical marijuana but about the freedom to grow marijuana for income,'' said Granville Pool of Redwood Valley.
If the board declines today to voluntarily put the issue up for a June vote, backers will have to go through a lengthy and potentially costly signature gathering process. It could delay a vote until the November general election.
When Mendocino voters in 2000 passed Measure G by an overwhelming 58-42 percent margin, it paved the way for locally liberal law enforcement policies surrounding medical marijuana use.
The measure allowed the growing and possession of up to 25 pot plants per person without fear of prosecution, compared to the state medical marijuana standard of six plants per individual.
Since Measure G, Mendocino's marijuana production has soared to new records, creating what's estimated to be a $1 billion-a-year underground economy, according to Supervisor Jim Wattenburger, referring to a report by an outside consultant hired to assess the economic impact of marijuana on the county.
Outsiders from across the country and from Mexico and Canada have flocked to the county seeking to profit from Mendocino's permissive pot-growing attitude, law enforcement officials said.
But during the past year a public backlash began to emerge, fueled by repeated discovery of large-scale commercial marijuana growing operations, and reports of armed guards, threats of violence to rural neighbors, and significant environmental damage.
Medical marijuana advocates say they're alarmed by the public outcry, fearing possible recriminations and ``suppression of the legally protected rights of cannabis patients.''
Pebbles Trippet, a member of the Mendocino Medical Marijuana Advisory Board, couldn't be reached for comment Monday. But Trippet recently noted in a Web posting for medical marijuana advocates that ``until this year the county had not even tried to regulate marijuana for medical purposes.''
``The supervisors left that job to law enforcement -- former Sheriff Tony Craver and former District Attorney Norm Vroman -- for a decade,'' Trippet said.
Trippet said the advisory board, whose honorary chairman is Craver, is considering whether to place its own ``comprehensive (medical marijuana) policy measure'' on the local ballot this year.
Supporters of the repeal Measure G drive say they believe public support of medical marijuana has evaporated.
``Yes, Measure G passed fairly handily, but now that its effects are better known, perhaps its support is not so widespread,'' said Pool.
Local wine industry leader Martha Barra agreed. ``This issue has gone beyond the medical benefits of marijuana,'' she said.
``What we are sanctioning now is the lucrative but illegal business of producing and selling marijuana,'' Barra said.
The pros and cons of Measure G and the county's medical marijuana practices will be aired at today's board hearing, which is scheduled to begin at 1:45 p.m. in the county administration center on Low Gap Road.
Measure B on the June ballot will provide:
The state limit, presently 6 mature plants and 8 ounces of processed marijuana per patient, will replace the higher 25-plant limit that has existed in Mendocino County since 2000. This will stop Mendocino County from being a “magnet" for marijuana growers who move here for quick profit.
-> That Measure G is repealed.
"Measure G ordered the sheriff to make enforcement of all marijuana laws his lowest priority, below even jaywalking. Prosecutions for less than 25 plants “per single case” was prohibited. Measure G discourages law enforcement and the Board of Supervisors from stopping abuses and threats to health and safety. Whenever the County tries to impose any limits on marijuana growing, the “no-limits” marijuana lobby threatens to sue for “violation of Measure G.”
Please send donations to
759 S. State Street #114
Ukiah, CA. 95482
Visit YES on Mendocino County Measure B Coalition for more information
Yes on Measure B - What's Happening?
Vote YES on Mendocino County Measure B
May 19 -
Last day to register to vote YES on Measure B.
Find my polling location. Enter your address and find your polling precinct and location.
Visit the Mendocino County Assessor - County Clerk - Recorder for more information.
May 7 - 7:o0pm
Measure B community forum
Location: Willits Grange.
Absentee ballots are mailed.
May 3 - 10:30am
Televised Measure B debate Coast League of Women Voters Measure B Community Forum.
Location: St. Michaels and All Angels Episcopal Church, Ft. Bragg.
May 1 - 6:00pm
Televised Measure B debate
Location: Mendocino Coast Television, Ft. Bragg
April 29 - 7:00pm
Anderson Valley Community Action Coalition
Location: Assembly of God - 14500 Highway 128 in Boonville
City Council meeting, City to vote on endorsing Measure B
Location: City Hall.
April 15 - 7:00pm
Ukiah Valley Chamber of Commerce / Candidates night
Location: City Hall.
April 14 - 6:30pm
Yes on Measure B debate
Location: City Hall.
Thank you for your support in
"Saving Mendocino County"
In our opinion
We've been hearing from readers that the level of outrage over marijuana growing in this county is continuing to rise.
The news of search warrants being quashed and pot growers walking away from court back to local neighborhoods to keep growing, of trucks and cars traveling up and down Highway 101 full of pot, of smart attorneys taking advantage of the mess that Measure G made of our county's desire to be fair to pot smokers and compassionate to the sick and dying, is all taking its toll.
When Measure G passed in the year 2000 the headlines in pro-marijuana publications read: "Marijuana growing legalized in Mendocino County, California!"
That is the message we sent to the world. That was not the message intended by many of the people who voted for Measure G back then and it is one we need to reverse by passing Measure B on the ballot in June.
What we're seeing in the news right now is a good example of why Measure B is so necessary. We need to return safety and sanity to our neighborhoods.
But perhaps most importantly Measure B will send a message back out into the world that Mendocino County is no longer the place to move to with your dreams of pulling in six figures a year tax free in a sweet deal made possible by the unwitting voters in Mendocino County who thought they were just giving a few local pot smokers a break.
In the coming weeks you will hear more about Measure B and you will hear from a group now organized to stop Measure B.
Measure B enacts locally the state standards for medical marijuana: six plants per patient. And remember when someone says "only six plants?" that one pot plant can be 10 to 12 feet tall and three to four feet wide. And they can have more immature plants, and they can get a doctor's recommendation if need be for even more. In other words, the state's regulations, developed by physicians committed to helping the sick and dying, concluded that six plants was plenty for any legitimate medical marijuana patient.
They will tell you Measure B criminalizes marijuana and "targets small-scale personal use growers." False.
Measure B simply reverses the excesses of Measure G, which gave everyone a license to grow as many as 25 pot plants continuously, year round, and led to the off-kilter notion that with the addition of dozens of medical marijuana cards, one could legally grow hundreds of plants anywhere in the county without fear of prosecution. That is where we stand today.
Don't let the "No on B" folks fool you. Measure B will indeed put a crimp on commercial marijuana production. They also argue that 25 plants is not a commercial growing operation. We differ. A 25-plant pot garden is not personal use. Much of that pot is being sold on the open market.
As the closure of the Ukiah medical marijuana dispensary this week showed, there are far more people growing "medical marijuana" than there are local medical marijuana patients.
If the news about the expanding commercial marijuana operations in this county disturbs you, if you support medical marijuana and even personal use, but not the outrageous abuses and the current pot traffic, then plan to vote Yes on B and make the message clear that we want our county back.
Argument in favor of Measure B
With the boom in commercial marijuana growing a crime wave has engulfed our communities. Home invasion robberies, trespassing, impacts to schools, and an influx of guns and attack dogs in residential neighborhoods are commonplace. Young people are increasingly turning to marijuana cultivation as a "career path."
Environmental damage from marijuana cultivation includes spills of diesel fuel and waste oil, dumping of trash, misuse of pesticides and fertilizers, illegal water diversion that has completely dried up some streams, poisoning of wildlife, damage to rural roads and strong odors that have sickened nearby residents.
What has caused this crisis? Much of the blame lies with Measure G, approved in 2000, that told law enforcement that all marijuana laws were the "lowest priority" for law enforcement, even lower than jaywalking.
Measure G discourages law enforcement from protecting us against even the most flagrant abuses by the commercial growers and sends a message to the nation that "marijuana is legal" in Mendocino County.
This has made us a magnet for "get-rich-quick" growers who hide behind medical marijuana as a "cover" for commercial marijuana production.
A "Yes" vote on Measure B does two simple things: it protects the rights of medical marijuana patients by adopting the same limits as state law and it repeals Measure G.
"Yes" on B tells law enforcement that we want protection against the abuses of the "no-limits" commercial growers.
"Yes" on B tells out-of-control growers that they are no longer welcome in Mendocino County.
Help save Mendocino County. Vote "Yes" on Measure B.
Duane Wells , Co-chairman, Yes on B Coalition
D.J. Miller, Co-chairman, Yes on B Coalition
The rest of the argument
Measure B is a backward step towards marijuana re-criminalization that targets small-scale, personal use growers instead of large-scale commercial operators and organized criminals who are actually causing the problems in Mendocino County.
In 2000, Mendocino County voters overwhelmingly approved Measure G, the Personal Use of Marijuana Initiative, which allows cultivation of twenty--five (25) plants or fewer for personal use only, while leaving commercial cultivation and sales illegal.
Measure B would 1) repeal Measure G so as to re-criminalize personal use growing, and 2) subject medical marijuana patients to arrest and prosecution on felony charges for growing more than six (6) plants, forcing many seriously ill people into the criminal market to get their medicine.
Mendocino County will not be made safer by cracking down on small personal use growers. Instead, it will be made less safe by diverting police resources. Sheriff Tom Allman has said that reducing patient plant guidelines to six plants would be "a burden on law enforcement" under which his deputies "will not be able to focus on any other public safety issue". (Press Democrat 3/17/07)
Mendocino County sorely needs to regulate large-scale gardens and to attack illicit grows and commercial trafficking. Measure B is a bogus diversion that does neither.
The solution is not to repeal Measure G (MCC9.36), but to seek ways to enforce it by regulating commercial growing.
If you support targeting large-scale criminal operations rather than personal use gardens, VOTE NO on B.
If you believe seriously ill patients should not be arrested for seven (7) plants, VOTE NO on B.
If you believe law enforcement has more important priorities than arresting and prosecuting small marijuana gardeners, VOTE NO on B.
If you support decriminalization of marijuana, VOTE NO on B.
B is Bad for Mendocino. Vote NO.
I swear under penalty of perjury that the above NO ON MEASURE B ballot argument is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.
William L. Courtney MD
Catherine Babcock Magruder, Community Cultural Artist/Cancer Survivor
Keith Faulder, Attorney At Law
Peter Keegan MD
Lynda McClure, Union Representative
YES ON MEASURE B
REBUTTAL TO THE ARGUMENT AGAINST MEASURE B
Don’t be fooled by false arguments and misleading quotations.
Measure B protects medical patients - not commercial growers.
The State recommended limits of 6 adult or 12 immature plants, plus ½ lb of marijuana, (more if physician recommended), is more than sufficient for seriously ill patients.
Sheriff Allman is neutral on Measure B, but previously said, “the problem in California is a lack of consistency in the law.” Recently, Sheriff Allman stated “Measure B will not change our focus. Investigating violent crime will remain our top priority. We do not, and will not, target small grows. We will continue to focus on large grows and complaints about growers who create a public nuisance, endanger public safety or trash the environment.”
“YES” ON B repeals Measure G which is inconsistent with state law, and makes Mendocino County a magnet for commercial growers who use medical marijuana as a cover for growing hundreds of plants.
“YES” ON B repeals G, which sanctions commercial quantities of 25 plants for everyone and tells law enforcement that ALL marijuana laws are the “lowest priority” and should not be enforced.
VOTE “YES” ON B - repeal G and end the hypocrisy that tells our kids it’s OK to break the law as long as you make money.
VOTE “YES” ON B - tell law enforcement and elected officials we want to feel safe in our homes and neighborhoods and we want our children and the environment protected from commercial growers who are motivated only by quick profit.
more information: www.YesOnBCoalition.org
s/Dave Turner, Fort Bragg City Council member
s/Karen Oslund, Willits City Council member
s/Marvin Trotter, M.D., Emergency Room Physician
s/Karin Wandrei, Ph.D., Executive Director, Mendocino County Youth Project
s/Robert Werra, M.D., Hospice Medical Advisor
FULL Text of Measure B
[Note: In response to a petition from 1,000 citizens, along with resolutions by the city councils of Ukiah and Willits, the Board of Supervisors acted on January 8, 2008 to place Measure B on the ballot at the June election for consideration by the voters.]
The People of the County of Mendocino ordain as follows:
THE REPEAL OF (MEASURE G) MENDOCINO COUNTY CODE CHAPTER 9.36 CANNABIS PERSONAL USE ORDINANCE FOR MENDOCINO COUNTY, AND ADOPTION OF NEW GUIDELINES FOR MAINTENANCE AND POSSESSION OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA THAT DO NOT EXCEED THE MINIMUM STATE LIMITS.
Section 1 Purpose
The purpose of this ordinance is to eliminate the abuses created by the increased and uncontrolled production of recreational and medical marijuana while protecting the rights of legitimate medical marijuana patients and primary caregivers. It does so by repealing Measure G and establishing guidelines for possession of medical marijuana for medical purposes that are consistent with state law.
Section 2 Findings
1. On November 6, 1996, the people of the State of California enacted the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 known as Proposition 215, which permits seriously ill residents of the state, who have a doctor’s recommendation, to use or possess marijuana for medical purposes without fear of criminal liability. Proposition 215 is codified in Health and Safety Code section 11362.5.
2. On November 7, 2000, the voters of Mendocino County approved an initiative known as Measure G (administratively codified as Mendocino County Code Chapter 9.36), the stated purpose of which was to establish a maximum limit of plants and weight for cultivation and possession of marijuana for personal medical and recreational use in Mendocino County, and prohibit the expenditure of public funds for enforcement of marijuana laws against cultivators and users in possession of quantities below that limit, which was identified by the Measure as twenty-five (25) adult flowering female marijuana plants or the equivalent in dried marijuana.
3. On October 12, 2003, the Governor of the State of California signed SB 420. Codified in sections 11362.7 through 11362.83 of the Health and Safety Code, SB 420 was adopted to address implementation of Proposition 215 and to facilitate the prompt identification of qualified patients and their designated primary caregivers in order to avoid unnecessary arrest and prosecution of these individuals.
4. SB 420 establishes minimum guidelines for the maintenance and possession of medical marijuana. Health and Safety Code Section 11362.77(a)-(f) provides that a qualified patient or primary caregiver may possess no more than eight (8) ounces of dried marijuana per qualified patient and that a qualified patient or primary caregiver may also maintain no more than six (6) mature of twelve (12) immature plants per qualified patient. If a qualified patient or primary caregiver has a doctor’s recommendation that this quantity does not meet the qualified patient’s needs, the qualified patient or primary caregiver may possess an amount that is consistent with the qualified patient’s needs.
5. Health and Safety Code section 11362.77(c) allows counties and cities to retain or enact medical marijuana guidelines allowing qualified patients or primary caregivers to exceed the state limits.
6. On August 7, 2007, the Board of Supervisors, in accordance with Health and Safety Code section 11362.77(c) and recognizing the state purpose of Measure G as it related to medical use only, adopted a policy, which allowed qualified patients or primary caregivers to maintain twenty-five (25) plants and to possess no more than two (2) pounds dried marijuana per qualified patient.
7. The effect of Measure G has been to increase public safety issues surrounding the uncontrolled production of marijuana either for medical or recreational use, and has jeopardized the health, safety and welfare of the people of Mendocino County.
Section 3 Repeal of Mendocino County Code Chapter 9.36
Mendocino County Code Chapter 9.36, Cannabis Personal Use Ordinance for Mendocino County, is hereby repealed.
Section 4 Limits for Possession of Marijuana for Medical Purposes
A qualified patient or primary caregiver may possess or maintain for medical purposes only those amounts as set forth in Health and Safety Code section 11362.77 and as amended by State or Federal legislation.
Section 5 SeverabilityIf any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this ordinance is for any reason held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of the ordinance.