Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

By Donna Westfall  – June 7, 2017 – The June 6th meeting which began at 5:30 pm  is an example of what we could only wish every Board of Supervisors meeting contained. There were opinions, well thought out questions and observations on all sides of the issue. No rubber stamping going on.  But remember one thing; the law about recreational cannabis was passed in California and will go into effect next year.  At issue are several things including; growing commercially, regulation, permits, law enforcement, taxation, ordinances, banking, industry, creating jobs and more.

From Del Norte County Counsel’s office , Joel Campbell-Blair, spoke first in a half  hour presentation. He will be tasked with putting together ordinances that reflect the majority vote of the Board. Will they settle on lenient, restrictive or somewhere in the middle?

The chambers were packed with people representing a complete cross section of opinions, ideas and advice on all ends of the spectrum.

This is democracy in action.




23 thoughts on “Cannabis: 3 Meetings Down, 3 Meetings to go”
  1. Folks fears are unfounded. Garberville has over twice the home price and almost three times the average wage. What folks don’t like in Garberville is accounted for in a population dominated by young single males. Check out demographics and do some research before you form an opinion. I run Del Norte Patients Together, no loitering but the best folks in town shop there. Employed folks with cars and everything, just the best including some of all of your friends and neighbors. If we want to rid the community of parking lots at places that serve alcohol, I am with you and there is evidence this will improve public safety. Folks (alcoholics) like Gitlin contribute to the leading cause of preventable death. Remember Josh Lacey.? How about Vice Principal Manns victim. Guess not because 2/3 of you consume the leading cause of brain damage and preventable death every night. (thank you truth) By the way, we have no economy to risk, only government spending. But you would need to research to know that.

    1. Now see, Robert, we found some common ground! I could not agree with you more that we should shut down the bars and liquor stores in this town. Sadly, people cannot be responsible for themselves anymore. We should all have a goal of consuming at home. Those that don’t have a home need to find one.

      So, as I mentioned earlier, if you are a true advocate for the pain afflicted as you say you are, just let them grow and smoke their own. Then they don’t have to get out in the world. Seems reasonable to me.

      Don’t you think these petty attacks on individuals are kind of childish? You don’t want us to get the wrong idea about you dope peddlers, do you?

    2. I understand that you don’t t like Roger Gitlin, but at least try and get some of your “facts” right. Pot has its share of negatives as well. As legalization has occurred, more and more have come into the light. What once was hidden because pot was illegal, now is beginning to show up in States like Colorado and Washington. Of course you have to do a little research beyond the internet to find it, but even the internet will give you enough clues to follow. I don’t think that alcohol is much worse, by the way. Both have significant problems associated with consumption in excess.

      1. Lets be clear.. cannabis is a blessing. Colorado has the lowest unemployment in the country, traffic safety has improved dramatically and if the neighboring states legalize, they will have less visitors for pot. Kids are going to the emergency room more, their parents will be told “we are going to observe your child for a couple hours and then send them home, he will be fine tomorrow”. All of the kids who accidentally consume cannabis will be fine. That cannot be said for most traditional non-“problematic” drugs, those kids often destroy organs and die. Mr Strait, also, impact to our economy will result in a 25% GDP growth for every 2% of state demand we produce, 2% will double our entire private sector output in Del Norte. If you would do some research and I do not mean FOX or NBC, I mean peer reviewed studies from respected institutions, you would know that alcohol is worse for an unborn fetus than cocaine. I wish instead of thinking alcohol is not much worse, people who want to opinion on this subject would do the research and come to the same factual conclusion that alcohol is the leading cause of preventable death in the US. In states with cannabis access, distracted driving is responsible for the majority of car collision fatalities, in states without access, drunk drivers are. So again, I mention Josh Lacey and VP Mann’s victims and will not even mention the victims in my own family. I am sure you know different names too and equally sure that about a quarter of us adults use cannabis and over half of you use alcohol and about as sure that you cannot name a victim of cannabis only the laws against it. I can cite studies and statistics kept by state governments to back what I say. The fact is, is that cannabis was made illegal by tapping into racist attitudes. Now it is still a prejudiced conversation but i am white. Seeing now that cannabis is a blessing it must just be that the users are of a lower class. And that is how it feels when a community suggest it may reasonably regulate someone growing a plant in their closet when the big ER culprits such as tool shop hobbyist and dog owners are left out of the public safety debate. Our community foots a bill for two pallets of liquor every third of July. Hard for a community like that to tell plant growers we are a risk. The research is in… Cannabis is safer than most over the counter drugs and we voted for this. One new study finds cannabis protects aging brains, but the next generation will have to medicate the square dancers just for it to make any sense to the fogies. Lets be clear, cannabis is a blessing.

  2. I think the one question I have is what makes anyone think that the tax disparity between Oregon and California is going to make any pot based business competitive with those in Brookings. Sure, those that can’t go to Brookings or can’t get someone to shop for them will spend their dollars in California, but just how many won’t and make Brookings’ nine pot shops just another stop on their weekly trip across the border to shop? Seems like it would just be another marginal way for the local economy to employ a few people and accumulate a small tax reward for local government. No real progress to a viable economy. So what is the real bottom line for folks here?

    1. I really did not mean to infer that Gitlin is an alcoholic. I sincerely apologize to supervisor Gitlin, should have read before sending. I do not use alcohol, however, when I have and have seen the results on friends, there is no comparing. One is a paint thinner that provides comfort via brain damage and the other is a medicine that can is as close as a cure for cancer as we have, saves children from brain damaging seizures, protects the brains of the elderly, helps opioid addicts step away from poisons that would surely kill their liver, did we mention diabetes? This drug is a drug, like caffeine, alcohol, and ibueprofin. Unlike caffeine, cannabis has a huge list of health benefits (CANCER KILLER!!) and is far safer than caffeine. The FDA is investigating a rash of fatal caffeine overdoses involving energy drinks and pure caffeine (as a health supplement). Unlike alcohol, cannabis is not so addictive, about 7% of those who try cannabis will experience dependence as contrasted by 14% of alcohol users. The folks who find themselves one of the 14% will be up against a dependency so physical that the withdrawls can kill. And unlike alcohol, cannabis has health benefits and will not drive hundreds of youths to kill themselves annually with alcohol poisoning. Cannabis is not even in the top hundred in causes of preventable death, however, alcohol takes the crown being the leading cause of preventable death. Like asprin, cannabis can help you deal with pain, unlike asprin, cannabis will not kill 4000 of its users every year like asprin does, or the 18,000 that die every year from asprin, ibueprofin, and tylenol combined. Our organization provides breath spray and suppositories for folks who cannot swallow, gluten free edibles for folks that do not want to smoke or vape, CBD only products for folks who can do without a narcotic effect, advocacy that if had not been would leave your neighbors to get these resources in Brookings or Arcata at the whim of a poorly informed minority, and we provide plants for folks that would have to rely on neighbors who are willing to otherwise break the law to provide one of thousands of strains with thousands of cannabinoid terpene ratios. When you start making your own asprin, you can ask the same of your neighbors.

    2. Good questions Sam. Oregon has special taxes for cannabis , just like CA, so there won’t be much price difference at the retail level. Del Norte gets a fair amount of pass through traffic and a well positioned retail outlet could do well without any conspicuous signage, using internet location apps. The greatest tax and job benefits to the county won’t come from retail or from local consumption. It will come from production for export around the state. Most of the industry is unknown to the public and already has a large and influential economic contribution to the county. We certainly can’t afford to lose any more productive business capacity. The process starts with propagation by seed, cutting, or tissue culture. Cultivation sites are rebuilt and worked with all the material input and labor of any intensive farming operation. Harvesting the crop on time is a huge job. Processing of the raw material happens year round ranging from hand work to complex laboratory operations. Testing of plants and material samples creates full time work for lab techs and the AG dept. State compliance standards, accounting, legal services, security, HVAC control, registered transport, building permits and new construction, unsecured business property taxes, vehicle and farm equipment repair and maintenance, insurance, lunch etc., and all the hundreds of things that go into producing any specialty product. This is a huge industry on the north coast; we need to preserve it and organize it to the benefit of Del Norte. Say no to dope and yes to real CBD based medicine and the economic benefits of a proven and productive local industry that is the envy of cannabis professionals around the world!

      1. Jesse, I’m not following you. Sales tax in California will not be collected on pot sales? Gasoline tax will be collected in Oregon for California from people who live in California and go to buy pot while shopping there? Colorado is having a massive problem with black market production, violent crime (up nearly 50% in the last three years, mostly cannabis related), cartels becoming involved in production in a big way, pot related traffic deaths on the rise, New health risks from abuse of the drug (not the kind where the emergency room sends you home after a few hours), just to name a few of a long list to be found in a recent speech by the District Attorney of Denver. I think I might be okay with medical cannabis, but recreational cannabis reminds me a whole lot of alcohol, not much in the way professional qualification on use. While I continue to think it is a personal decision for each individual, and so not in any way am I wanting to utter “prohibition” in the conversation. I think it is reckless when Robert’s echo chamber goes off and spouts a lot of questionable “facts” when there is ample evidence to the contrary. Early in my life I spent several years in a laboratory conducting research centered on Cancerous cells replacenent. During that time, cannabis was in play as possible cure, but nothing came of it. It pains me to see anyone putting the idea out that it is some kind of wonder drug that will cure Cancer. Maybe it is and I am just that old foggie who still refuses to wear rose colored glasses. I wish that a bit more time was spent before we go hurtling off into the unknown of recreational pot use and production. I am not convinced as yet that the economic benefits will measure up. I suppose time will tell and we will find out in the coming years. By the way, Washington is having many of the same issues. Many of the dollars collected from cannabis production are spent in the general funds of Colorado for increased enforcement activities surrounding cannabis. Almost no money is going to education. It does not appear to be going as swimmingly as Robert is insisting. No, Robert, I’m not a consumer of alcohol, nor do I watch FOX or NBC for my news. I try to be a bit more discriminating and leave my box occasionally.

        1. Sam, my information is correct. The International Journal of Oncology published the most recent study out of London that shows cannabis had a “major role in shrinking cancerous tumors” in subjects. Check it out, published 06-08-17. Also the federal site just updated to finally reflect on a myriad of studies showing that cannabis is a powerful anti-apoptosis tool. “Cannabinoids may cause antitumor effects by various mechanisms, including induction of cell death, inhibition of cell growth, and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis invasion and metastasis.[9-12]” The information is avl from OUR National Cancer Institute. Check it out.. . Again.. the traffic stuff… Of course I follow everything cannabis. Colorado had 9% of traffic fatalities test positive for cannabis pre-recreation and 12% after. So a growth in numbers yes. However, if we figure about a quarter of adults have cannabis in their system, the 12% looks a little low. In fact traffic safety is better than ever since allowing cannabis in Colorado as alcohol sales have fallen. If the Journal of Oncology and the National Cancer Institute and the many studies they reflect upon are not enough, check out DR Tashkins work and UCLA when he sought to find a connection with lung cancer and users and instead found the cannabis using sample to be correlated with a reduced risk from lung cancer than the non-users. I think I gave you a few things to look over, I am surprised anyone is missing this stuff. Nothing came of old studies because the government banned studying this plant. This drug is nothing like alcohol and at least we can assume that people who say it is, have never tried it. Our community leaders are determined to make poorly informed decisions and I will echo what I know.

        2. Also Sam, where are you seeing a 50% violent crime hike over three years? I see a one percent jump one year. Can find no stories, state statistics etc to back this up. Check out this article about a rise in big city crime in Time Magazine, Great article and shows a map of homicides showing a rise in Colorado… and Utah..? And flat in California and Washington State. Crime is rising in large cities in proportion to poverty and homelessness growth, regardless of cannabis access.. Utah?. And we will always experience more robberies against organizations with something to rob.. banks, quickie marts. Taxi drivers see more crime against them than dispensaries. I love my old saturn because who would want that. However, we can’t ban everything of value.

          1. Robert, please read my post carefully. The information that was related was from a speech given by the District Attorney of the City of Denver given to legislators in the State of Nevada who were considering the legalization of cannabis in their State. I have also seen statistics from various law enforcement sources that tend to back up what he is saying. So unless he has a particular bias that I can’t seem to find, I have to take him at his word. I have seen other stories from pro activist sources that down play the problems that Colorado is having with recreational cannabis, but not sources. The Times story that you sent me to, does not really say much more than what the Denver DA is saying. Violent crime in Denver is up. His speech goes further by saying why that is. I looked into your statement that 25% of the population has cannabis in their systems at any given time and can find no information to support that claim. I also can’t find a source for your claims of 9% up to 12% increase in cannabis related highway fatalities, as the data I come across is somewhat higher and climbing each year since 2014. How does that make the highways safer? For the record, I am not talking about a ban, prohibition or anything along those lines. What I would like to see is a more measured approach to the unrestricted use of cannabis as a recreational drug. In that context, I can see all the same kinds of problems we currently have with alcohol. It may not be the kind of health related side affects that are well documented with alcohol, but there are risks associated with cannabis. I also read, carefully, the cancer related articles and studies that you earmarked as well as some of the information from studies footnoted in the paper. In addition, I read a few other studies that were done at the time that I was in the field and found most of the same kind of qualifiers that litter the recent works. When I was involved in the field we didn’t get much beyond frogs, and there were a lot of “may” in the discussions of causality. I don’t remember any kind of ban by the Feds at least in the labs where I worked. But the current studies don’t appear any more conclusive than when I worked in the field. Cancer research tends to be kind of tricky in that it is difficult to account for all the variables involved. I am sure that this won’t be the last I hear about the subject and I am always willing to listen. I appreciate any sort of mental stimulation at my age, and appreciate the fact that you are willing to further my education. I have a radio program on Sundays from 3 to 4 pm and you are welcome to drop in at any time.

            1. I appreciate your reply Sam. Still, your information about crime in Colorado is mistaken. You have switched figures from marijuana intoxicated traffic fatalities with crime. More adults are using cannabis and your body does not seem to object and unlike almost all other substances, cannabis clings to your fat (or your fat clings to cannabinoids) and the substance is in your blood for well over a month in folks with a bit of fat. I think I was a little off too with 12% and this number is really a little over 13% accounting for our almost 50% climb. Crime has not been shown to increase around legalized cannabis as shown when Washington State and California do not correlate with very small increases in Colorado. All of the fact checking sites I can find verify this (Snopes and such). In fact, Colorado also had the most progressive MEDICAL cannabis law and during its first years crime fell, same in California. Big city crime is up across the board, there is no consistent connection to cannabis access. And we will always see DAs and Sheriffs echo the position of law enforcement unions just as our sheriff cites the CA Association of Sheriffs positions for his opinion. Despite an increase in adult usage in Colorado, and many believe because of it, alcohol sales have fallen and traffic safety has improved by a significant margin as the leading cause of death behind the wheel becomes distracted driving instead of drunk driving. I do believe a quarter of us adults use it in my neighborhood. I do not mean to out anyone, however, my neighbor across the street and my two next door neighbors do. It is hard to know how many of us use because of the stigma of being stupid. That is worse of all with the CSA, freedom of expression was squashed for one side of the debate, for to speak was to have law enforcement come see you.

        3. Sam, currently there is no sales tax(I think) on medical cannabis in CA but I’m sure that will change. The point is that both OR and CA have lots of taxes and fees on cannabis at many levels so that the total tax burden per unit is about the same in each state whether it’s called ‘sales’ tax or whatever. Both states have calculated what is thought to be the maximum total tax burden that the industry can bear and went with that. Sales tax is always paid by the retailer whether it’s itemized on the receipt or not. Oregon just calls the tax something different but is paid by the retailer and worked into the price just the same. Gas in Oregon has a lower total tax rate than CA, but not cannabis!

          NO RECREATIONAL COMMERCIAL CANNABIS! We are NOT obligated to participate! I have said this before and must keep repeating it. Other than dealing with regulation of the six legal, personal recreational plants, commercial rec cannabis should not be part of the discussion. Prop 64 was a curve ball distraction from the left that is clogging progress on REGULATED MEDICAL CANNABIS as defined by the MCRSA. The MCRSA was passed by the legislature in 2015 by a wide margin with huge bi-partisan support and signed into law in 2016. It’s function is to regulate and tax the MEDICAL CANNABIS industry that developed after prop 215 and SB 420 and has been largely unregulated for twenty years. It would be ridiculous to prohibit our existing MEDICAL CANNABIS industry that now, finally, has a state sponsored regulatory platform. The board needs to end this confusion I see by reading the MCRSA (Joel can make a cliff note version) and understanding the tools at hand so that we can create a MEDICAL CANNABIS ordinance that fits Del Norte, Roger’s ideas included.

          Washington eliminated their medical cannabis program because it was too much competition for the state run rec stores. In Colorado they blew it wide open to unlimited investment in the faster expanding rec market. Of course the black market is booming there, Washington issued only a handful of commercial permits on the bad advice of the RAND corp with the thought that economies of scale would out compete the black market. Everyone else was left to the same black market that always existed, and in Colorado the unlimited investment blocked out everyone but the cartels who are just securing the share of the market they always had while taking over the small producers. Both states produce far more than is consumed within the state so illegal export thrives along with crime. It’s just prohibition mixed with government corruption and a dash of nepotism. The MCRSA prevents these major mistakes and many others because the program is a result of careful analysis of observed pitfalls with a strong focus on small business and local control with state wide standards. It will be far from perfect but it is clearly the best regulatory package I have seen yet.

          As for medical science, I am no expert. I know that it is ever changing and rapidly developing with exponential gains in data collection. Only recently
          have labs had access to the diverse genetic profile of cannabis for medical study. Not all cannabis is the same and prohibition has focused development of varieties that have a very limited canabinoid profile. We can be responsible participants in this industry by helping society, even in a small way, to learn more about this plant genus called cannabis. I find it hard to believe that we can’t find some scale of participation that is safer for our community than prohibition.

          1. Thanks Jesse, I appreciate the information. It clarifies certain things that are a question for me. I hope others read your comment and have a better idea of what is what. I hope you can make some time to come on my program on Sunday and explain in detail your thoughts about the place recreational cannabis should have in the discussion. I wish Robert would read the posts more carefully and his questions for the most part would be answered. I am not sure that prohibition should be on the table for medical cannabis unless some conclusive evidence comes to light that cannabis has no real usefulness in medicine. I still have reservations about a viable local recreational cannabis economy, unless the finished product is going to be exported. I just don’t see the reasonable expectation of large scale local market. We are after all a relatively poor County. Who is going to purchase the cannabis if a majority of its customers can save on gas tax and sales tax when they do their regular shopping in Brookings and stop to purchase their cannabis in Brookings as well? I just have a hard time wrapping my head around any kind of large scale recreational Cannabis operation centered on many small scale operations. It is already hard enough to start up any kind of small business in California let alone one next to a State such as Oregon. I many be splitting hairs over nothing, but I just can’t seem to find an answer there. If you have a chance to explain how you think all this is going to happen, I would really appreciate it.

            1. Thank you Sam, I would like to be on your show again. The large cities are the main consumers of cannabis whether for recreational or medical purposes. This is obvious just by the numbers. Just like Del Norte does not buy many of the lilies grown here, or the fish caught, or the timber milled, our production will be for export. At some future point the state will have a regulatory package for rec cannabis that will be similar to the medical program but they will be kept separate by the state and we should do the same. People interested in retailing rec cannabis in Del Norte will lobby for that right, but I don’t think we will be compelled economically to accept it. There is no legal obligation to accept it. As you said, selling pot to ourselves doesn’t grow the economy! On the other hand, Del Norte voted for prop 64 by a twenty percent margin and this cannot be spun out of sight. I think there may be real money in marketing to out of state travelers who would not have access to medical cannabis, but we could afford to make a principled stance against this if people wanted. We need to let people grow their six legal plants with minimal regulation. Local government is scared of these six plants because they don’t know how to control them. The legal backlash from a libertarian community due to over regulation of a codified personal right would be the city and county’s worst nightmare. Personally I think no objects on earth should be regulated, only actions. With this comes my right to communicate and negotiate, to use deadly force to defend myself or others, the right to seek legal recourse, and the right to live where I want. These ideas may be ahead of their time, or behind, so I try to let others deal with telling people how to wipe their ass. Del Norte is a jewel to be respected and preserved, the Smith is pristine and virgin, our lands belong to all humans on earth. These material things transform into a way of life like no other county around us! May we have the wisdom to continue.

  3. Del Norte County and the City of Crescent City would be foolish not to get the Cannabis Industry a chance. Currently there is no fishing on the Klamath River, there is no timber industry. Our Streets and infrastructure are in complete disrepair. We have no jobs other than state, city, county, and box store jobs.

    The dispensaries in Brookings, Oregon pays taxes of $9-11 thousand per month. Crescent City and Del Norte County can choose to disregard those kind of numbers for income. After all we are a “welfare” county just extending our hand out for the next grant or Federal money. But since we are a “sanctuary” state, oops no federal money.

    Getting Children to come to a meeting for protest of growing marijuana is a farce in itself, as well as using children to manipulate the process. People with addictive personalities already smoke cigarettes, eat excessive food, and drink alcohol. Marijuana is not a gateway drug in my opinion, it is a do nothing drug that leaves you laying on the couch eating snacks.

    State law says we can grow 6 marijuana plants. So um, let’s just open up the black market in full review. Grow your six plants lawfully, take it to Humboldt dispensaries sell it and the city and county will not profit one iota.

    1. I find it quite humorous when folks say “it will create jobs.” It appears to me that maybe you people are not getting out? There are jobs all over Crescent City. Do you want to hear a few? Walmart…Home Depot…Ace Hardware…Curry Equipment…hotels in town…do you want me to go on?
      So, you think a 10 dollar an hour job is going to save these people working at pot shops, and our economy? What about the few remaining businesses we have in Crescent City that will be driven out by the smell of pot shops and the fine citizens that hang out there? Have you considered the LACK of jobs generated by pot in our county- the lack of additional law enforcement to respond to additional crime, lack of code enforcement, lack of tourists driven out by a town built on peddlling dope? Nine pot shops in Brookings, nine…how about nine pot shops in Crescent City? Boy, that would be a welcoming sight! Oh yes, and property tax revenue- when the remaining good citizens move out of this county because of a dope economy, I’m sure these highly motivated, industrious potheads will buy homes here and we’ll be in “Leave It To Beaver Land!!”
      Grow your own pot is legal now. Do us all a favor, grow some of your own, light up, and mellow out…………just don’t bother me. Fair enough?

    2. Linda, quick question, If Brookings and Curry County are taking in that kind of income per month from cannabis sales, why is the City and the County in such desperate straights finnancially? I don’t t know, just asking.

  4. You are correct, Donna The Workshop provided an accurate assessment from ALL members of the Board of Supervisors: a true solar eclipse Moment. I expressed my candid opinion of mainstreaming this product into Del Norte County. Most certainly, got my shares of boo birds and was disappointed Chairman Howard misplaced his ubiquitous gavel to restore order.The normalizing of this problematic product will devastate Del Norte County, especially our children. I say NO to DOPE.

    1. Oh snowflake, don’t you remember complaining about Howard “limiting people’s free speech” just weeks ago? Now you want him to stop people from (rightfully) booing you.

      1. It’s called being civil in a public meeting,and being recognized by the chair, something Supervisor Howard conveniently forgets when it suits him. It is one thing to be recognized by the Chair and be denied your first amendment rights and quite another to have a pack of rude individuals who’s lack of self control resorts to immature cat calls. Hardly the setting for such juvenile behavior. Might want to take such to a sporting event. Just saying, don’t you think, Anon?

      2. Um, did i miss something, Anon? Because i didn’t see or hear anything about Gitlin wanting people to stop booing him (is that even really an issue, or that’s just in your own mind?).

        Prove me wrong, please.

        1. Roger Gitlin
          June 9, 2017 at 7:09 am

          “got my shares of boo birds and was disappointed Chairman Howard misplaced his ubiquitous gavel to restore order”

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