SANTA ROSA, Calif. (CN) - The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors has postponed the decision to repeal a 2006 medical marijuana ordinance, which was called "very permissive" by one of the leaders of an ad hoc committee assigned to study the issue, Courthouse News learned Wednesday.
Instead, the Sonoma Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to, "Direct staff to explore an ordinance or other option for restricting the use of unoccupied residences for growing of marijuana," and "Directed to staff to develop for board consideration a Community Stakeholder Working group which could address the number of issues related to marijuana," Jim Leddy, Sonoma's Community and Government Affairs Manager, told Courthouse News.
Courthouse News reported Tuesday, that the 2006 ordinance, which allowed medical marijuana users to have up to 30 plants and three pounds of dried marijuana per year, was being considered for repeal. The proposed new guidelines would have set a new limit of six plants. Supervisors Shirlee Zane and Valerie Brown proposed the change, citing concerns that the county had become a magnet for criminal elements as a result of the current guidelines.
According to the report of the ad hoc committee Zane and Brown led, "Some growing operations are producing illegal drugs not intended for compassionate use clients."
A local paper reported that Kumari Sivadas of Sonoma Alliance for Medical Marijuana called the proposed change, "Outrageous," and said, "If the ordinance is repealed, it would result in a huge waste of resources. The courts are already packed with marijuana prosecutions."
Robert Jacob, Sebastopol's vice mayor and founder of a non-profit dispensary said, "The people who are following the law are going to follow the law and the people who are not aren't," according to the paper.