EDITOR: Seventy percent of Sonoma County voters think that individual communities should be granted the power to create exclusion zones that ban commercial marijuana cultivation. But the supervisors are so out of touch that they refuse to let communities decide their own fates.
The decision-making process suggests dysfunction. In May, the cannabis committee (Supervisors Susan Gorin and Lynda Hopkins) recommended criteria to establish exclusion zones. In June, the Planning Commission approved exclusion zones. When the full board decided the issue, Gorin and Hopkins voted against their own committee’s proposal and killed exclusion zones.
The 1 percent who grow marijuana, many of whom have flocked here from states and the 49 California counties where commercial marijuana is banned, are ecstatic.
Rural residents not so much. Especially when section 26-88-250(h)(2) of the cannabis ordinance allows convicted criminals to run marijuana operations in our neighborhoods, so long as their felonies aren’t too serious or too violent. By contrast, it’s very difficult for felons to get liquor licenses. Moreover, section 26-88-250(k) requires at least 24 hours’ notice before an inspection, allowing bad actors time to hide weapons and illegal chemicals.
It’s time to hit the reset button on an irresponsible program.
CRAIG S. HARRISON