Where medical marijuana grows in Nevada County is up for debate. Measure S proponents seek to change what they call an impossible ordinance to follow. But some law enforcement agencies argue if the measure is passed, public safety would take a hit.
Proponents are calling the measure a sensible solution, which they explained would allow medical marijuana users to cultivate the herb lawfully. But some Nevada County deputies argued all the measure would do is create potential for more litigation and confusion. Both sides spoke on the issue in a discussion led by the League of Women Voters in Nevada City.
"I call it a ban with lipstick,” Patricia Smith, the Chair for American for Safe Access Nevada County said. The makeup of a marijuana cultivation ordinance has been criticized by Yes on S proponents. "You can’t grow on a hillside in hill country. That takes out 99-percent of every property in this [Nevada] County."
If passed, the measure would limit the amount of medicinal marijuana card holders can grow to 6 plants per person and allows cannabis to be grown on hillsides as long as it’s concealed.
The Nevada County Sheriff's Department argued all the measure will do is create a nuisance for neighborhoods. "If you read our ordinance it’s fairly cut and dry. I mean it tells you how many square feet you can plant and it needs to be clearly marked down,” Lt. Bill Smethers, Jr., with the Nevada County Sheriff’s Department told FOX40.
Deputies added they're trying to protect the entire community. "We’re trying to have the setbacks so to keep these people from being victims from marijuana rip-offs."
Those who support the use of medicinal marijuana listened to the discussion and while they support its use, "Overall, I’m totally in favor of legalizing marijuana but it makes me in a position where I have to vote in voting against it,” Lynda Norman, a voter said. "The situation is just really a mess with the federal laws being different from the state laws,” John Waite, a resident with Nevada County, said.
Parts of the measure have left them on the fence. While voters have weeks to decide the debate lingers on,
"We hope that when all the dust settles that we can kind of come to compromise on this and move forward,” Smith said.
Election Day is November 4th.