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Hot, Pot, and a Lot

Quick weather note

In case you’re wondering about our warm weather, you should know that since June 29th we’ve had 10 days at or above 100 degrees.

Global warming or just regular, old summer patterns?

Pot Chronicles

Have just a minor clarification to Mark Scaramella’s July 26, AVA BOS report:

“The Board spent the entire afternoon considering a proposed pot exclusion zone in Redwood Valley that would prohibit a relatively small existing legal grow site that’s been there for years. As is common with Mendo pot questions (but not with the many other more important fundamental issues), there were lots of comments for and against the exclusion zone — the non-pot-growing neighbors were mostly in favor of exclusion and the pot permit posse was against the exclusion. The Planning Commission had previously punted on the question, leaving it up to the Board to try to split the baby. Supervisor Mulheren’s sensible compromise suggestion to approve the exclusion zone but allow the existing grows (but no new ones) wasn’t acceptable to any of her colleagues.”

That “sensible compromise suggestion” was the recommendation I made during public comment on what is really a non-issue issue, as in much ado but nothing.

What I said was the Supervisors should approve the so-called “opt-out,” i.e., “exclusionary” application from the Redwood Valley neighborhood group, and for the Board to use their broad discretionary authority to grandfather in the three parcels under cultivation. It was, indeed, the most sensible thing to do, which is why it never went anywhere.

Later in the meeting, Mulheren “polled” her colleagues on at least three different alternative motions, including my proposal. When polled on my recommendation, District 1 Supe Glenn McGourty said the proposal would not be acceptable to the neighborhood group.

Early on, Mulheren went on the record opposing these “opt-out” zones, so she should be credited for polling her colleagues on the various options for an action motion.

In any event, that whole session was another monumental waste of time, as has been the case with the entire history of the Pot Chronicles.

Everyone knows that cannabis use is legal in California. However, cities and counties can prohibit cannabis cultivation, as well as businesses, like retail, manufacturing, and distribution. As a result, the state’s landscape is a patchwork where cannabis-related activities are either legal or prohibited.

I had always assumed that a majority of the state’s cities and counties allowed the full range of cannabis activities. I discovered that my assumption was far off the mark.

According to the state Department of Cannabis Control, two-thirds of cities and counties ban all things pot.

Here’s the breakdown:

• 69 percent cities and counties prohibit cultivation.

• 61 percent of cities and counties do not allow any retail cannabis business.

• 66 percent of cities and counties prohibit manufacturing.

• 66 percent of cities and counties prohibit distribution.

Encouraging Vigilantism?

In last week's Observer, I said the state of California needs to abandon the Pandemic-era failed experiment with emptying its jails via “catch-and-release” policies that allow crooks and criminal misfits to avoid incarceration. Some of these new laws and policies seriously undermine basic public safety ... The only answer is for county officials, mainly the judges, to abandon the policy of emptying the county jail. To hell with the state Legislature and their idiotic laws that give free reign to criminals to carry out even more crimes and anti-social behavior at the expense of public safety.

That column generated many replies and comments, including Sheriff Matt Kendall who pointed out that, “Over the past dozen years, we have seen legislation which removes personal responsibility from people, it’s just that simple. If there is no personal responsibility, then who does the responsibility for behaviors fall to? Laws protect the safety of society and ensure our rights as residents against abuses by other people, by organizations, and by the government itself. Our laws help us to create safer communities. One of the things our laws also do for us is remove the duty to avenge. This duty has been well documented throughout time. Trust me, I have arrived at many a tense situation where one subject was wronged or endangered by another. In many cases all involved parties were happy to see law enforcement arrive before things went too far. I am extremely concerned when the teeth are removed from our laws, and faith on our courts are gone, our residents will grow their teeth back and we will see duty to avenge played out across our nation. We can’t have that.”

Recently in Laytonville, we experienced what Sheriff Kendall was concerned about with the vengeance factor when a few individuals in a crowd roughed up an accused sexual assault suspect. Fortunately, law enforcement arrived on scene and restored order. Anyway check out what people are saying about the "catch and release" problem created by the state Legislature.

‘Catch and Release’

Still receiving lots of responses to my recent series on “Crime and No Punishment” appears to be showing some results.

The phrase was even on the lips of two or three mental health providers who spoke at this week’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

By now, a lot of people know I’ve called for state and local governments to abandon the Pandemic-era failed experiment of emptying jails via “catch-and-release” policies that allow crooks and criminal misfits to avoid incarceration. It’s undeniable that some of these new laws and policies seriously undermine basic public safety.

Here’s a couple more insights received this week:

Scott Ward wrote, “The one party rule in the California legislature and in the governor’s office is responsible for the court’s inability to incarcerate criminals for a suitable length of time and hold them accountable for their actions. Elections have consequences.”

And Sheriff Kendall added this thought: “There is a new wrinkle in this chasm of change. The state prison system has been calculating credits in some strange fashion that when explained makes no sense. Our judges hand down a sentence based on the facts. Then the folks at CDCR are somehow allowed to change the sentence thus circumventing the orders of our judges. A gifted mathematician armed with a Texas Instruments calculator and the good old abacus wouldn’t know if he was on foot or horseback trying to follow the logic on these releases. It’s pure alchemy. The confusion is truly a portion of how this is happening and it’s time for it to stop.”

For certain, people are starting to get involved and engaged with local government representatives in attempting to come up with solutions.

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