We read George Boardman’s 'Nevada County's supervisors cede leadership to sheriff on medical marijuana' in today’s (18jan16) Union on last Tuesday’s BoS MJ prezo by Sheriff Keith Royal et al. Generally it was a good piece, we had some inevitable nits because the changing face of MJ production and consumption in CA is a complicated affair, especially when we translate it down to our county level. And Nevada County being a nationally known source of prime MJ doesn’t help sorting out how we should conduct business in the coming new world of pot.
Readers know that years ago RR came off the fence on drugs and has supported selective and prudent legalization. Since then the debate has grown on how, when, and under what conditions should the county permit medical marijuana (MMJ) and recreational marijuana (RMJ) production and consumption. These considerations have been made even more complicated by the existence of conflicting federal and dynamic state laws re MJ in its various forms. And when we start picking apart all the components of legalizing the growth and consumption of the weed, we wind up as we have, in the weeds. The recent BoS hearing and vote by supervisors on a revised ‘emergency ordnance’ and the upcoming vote on an MJ initiative have not helped resolve anything in the minds of the two major factions – one facilitating its production and use, and the other essentially opposing all parts of the MJ scene in Nevada County.
What I’d like to discuss here is recognizing the real conflict that is hidden underneath the layers of details of MJ grow parameters, neighborhood nuisance factors, and specifics of RMJ and MMJ distribution and consumption. The anti-MJ folks voice legitimate concerns about neighborhood nuisances, crime, underage consumption, etc. And these same people are essentially following the tactics of the anti-gun people in wanting to banish MJ from the county – i.e. make the attendant parts of a facile MJ economy so cumbersome and difficult that it will wind up being ‘constructively banned’.
So let’s be clear, all these details and specifics aren’t the real issue – they comprise the fog that hides what really is on the minds of the anti-MJ people who are mostly right-leaning conservatives, and also what is apparent to the more strategically minded left-leaning progressives. The real issue is the ongoing battle for Nevada County between two very different cultures.