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Mendocino County Today: January 21, 2012

FROM LINDA WILLIAMS of the Willits News: “Nearly 53% of all Mendocino County mothers reported using tobacco, marijuana or alcohol before knowing they were pregnant compared to the state average of 24%. The percentage Mendocino County mothers using these substances dropped to 27% after learning of their pregnancy compared with 10 percent for California.” Either our moms are dumber or they’re crazier than most California mothers.

SAY GOODBYE to Mendo’s Medical Pot Cultivation Ordinance. Tommy LaNier, of the White House funded “National Marijuana Initiative who opposes marijuana for medical or any other purpose, told KQED’s Michael Montgomery this week: “The other three US attorneys … have also advised those places where they’re trying to regulate marijuana — which is illegal under the Control Substances Act — they cannot do that. This is just another process; Mendocino was on the list to do it in the first part of January. … I can't speak directly for the US Attorneys because they're working on individual cases, but I would think it would send a message to those cities that see what's going on in Mendocino and that they're most likely going to be advised that they're in violation of the law if they haven't already.”

Supervisor John McCowen commented: “We had a very successful local, state, and federal program to eradicate marijuana in Mendocino national forest last year. I personally very much welcomed the participation of the federal authorities. They eradicated over 600,000 plants, took out miles of irrigation lines, dozens of illegal dams, tons of garbage. I think there were over 130 arrests, one prosecution. So who are we kidding? The federal government is making no serious effort to prosecute the people who are illegally cultivating marijuana for the black market and who are harming the environment, and instead they're trying to knock down a program that provides for the cultivation of medical marijuana in compliance with state and local law, protection of the environment, protection of neighborhood impacts. If they really want to go after all the marijuana they think is illegal – great. And after they clean up the trespass growers in the national forest who are polluting and destroying the environment, then let's talk about people who are complying with our local program. But otherwise, if you're not going to provide the resources to solve the problem, then don't interfere with our efforts on the local level to bring order out of chaos. … We'll see on January 24, when county counsel brings forward her proposed amendment and the board of supervisors makes its decision. But if the ordinance is to conform to the Pack decision, and the federal threat, then it is likely the program will be effectively dead in terms of the permitting system.”

VERN PIVER of Fort Bragg was released from UCSF on Wednesday. Piver had been hospitalized to treat brain tumors. He said Friday he has to go back to the hospital “a couple more times for follow-up treatments,” but for now he gets to stay mostly at home.

AS EXPECTED, Mendocino County has designated Chief Planner Roger Mobley as "Acting Director of Planning and Building Services," in the wake of the departure of former P&B honcho Nash Gonzalez. Gonzalez left for a much higher paying job in Santa Clara County earlier this month.

WHEN I ARRIVED at Occupy San Francisco at California and Montgomery at about 1pm Friday afternoon, a dozen or so protesters had been arrested, several of whom had locked down at the entrance to Wells Fargo Bank. About a thousand people had turned out, many of them with placards that said they weren’t afraid of the One Percent. The protest coincided with the two-year anniversary of the decision by the US Supreme that removed all limits on political contributions, meaning the rich and their corporations gained even more control over the political system. A small group of protesters also marched in the Mission District at a Bank of America hoping to disrupt foreclosure auctions. Newly elected Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, indicted on charges he assaulted his wife, showed up in support.

THE YEAR of the Dragon commences Monday.


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