Letters to the Editor


Dear Editor
I was shocked to read in the paper last week that the Town of Loyalton was flat broke. This was shocking to here because the nonprofit agencies in that fine town are apparently flush with cash. So much so that they are returning donations.
Over the past few months the Sierra County Growers Association, a legitimate non-profit organization has been collecting donations at our meetings and then giving the donations to agencies across our distitute county.
We made donations to both the Loyalton Family Resource Center and also to the Sierra Schools Foundation. The donation to the Sierra Schools was directly for a school ag/garden project. We received very kind thank you letters from the Directors of these programs. Then the magnanimous, altruistic Board of Directors of each of these Organizations voted to return our donations because????
Maybe the Board members themselves are going to replace the over $500 they cost their organizations. Ignorance and hatred never benefits anybody! We're here, We're high. Get used to it.
Belle Starr Sandwith Sierra Brooks

Board of Supervisors ignore pleas from Sierra County Patients

After months of meetings, the Sierra County Board of Supervisors voted in Ordinance 1071—the new medical marijuana cultivation code—despite wide ranging protests from county residents. Having witnessed this injustice firsthand, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling letters to the Board that were made public so that the community at large can see the depth of harm the new ordinance poses.
Here are the voices of your neighbors:
“I have around 15 medical conditions… which cause chronic pain… I need a lot of medicine.” “If it wasn’t for marijuana I do not know if I would be alive today.” “I was a victim of a car wreck… I broke my back, hip and pelvis in four places… When I discovered medical marijuana I got my life back… I cannot afford to go purchase it elsewhere.” “Should the proposed changes [No. 1071] take effect, we will not be able to grow our prescribed medicine.” “Please take these words of a sick, hard-working man into consideration”—“Please don’t change [the now old] ordinance.”
“[There is a] need for medical cannabis and the need for good, honest, community-minded medical cannabis farmers to provide medicine for the people that need it.” “Allow… collective gardens that have been acting in compliance with state and local law to continue.” “The proposed ordinance is harsh, unjust,
and most severely affects the aged and ailing”—“most medical marijuana patients are elderly and/or disabled and on fixed incomes.” “The proposed changes of a maximum 100 sq. ft. per prescription, no more than 10 plants of any size per prescription and no more than two prescriptions per parcel are simply unreasonable.” “No one other than an experienced doctor is qualified to recommend how much cannabis a person needs based on his or her ailment”—“the amount of medicine a patient needs is their decision to make along with their physician.” “Do you really think someone with stage-4 liver cancer, severe arthritis or chronic pain can cultivate the amount of cannabis they need?”--Don’t you want to see people who are sick get better?”—“Please help us keep our right to medicine!”
“We all have different terrain, abilities, and resources for our cultivation practices… what one person can get out of one plant another may need five or ten.” “Many flowers [cannabis buds] have to be disposed of due to pests, mold, and mildew…[some] are lost to storms and animals.” “Having adequate space and an ample plant count allow us to pick the best of our medicine and ensure that we have what we need.” “We and many others have put most everything we had into these gardens and properties and do not have the financial or physical means to change them now”—“to tear out… and redesign our gardens” “will cost so much it will make it impossible for the sick to grow their medicine.”
“You [the Board] are restricting so many people from being able to grow their own [medical cannabis] and then limiting their neighbors from being able to grow for them”--“You will be forcing fixed-income residents who wish to live within the law to drive to Sacramento to purchase cannabis (probably grown in our region) at retail prices”--“You are depriving these people of their quality of life and health.” “The amount of pain it [Ord. No. 1071] would cause a large number of Sierra County residents is staggering, while the pleasure it offers [to proponents] is unremarkable.” “As representatives you have a duty to empower your constituents to pursue health, wealth, and happiness. We deserve your assistance not resistance.”
“[The passage of Ordinance 1071 shows a] lack of appropriate legislative due process with resulting loss of rights… [and a] lack of legislative justification… Patients have legal rights; collectives are allowed to function… The new Sierra County ordinance fails to protect those rights…. It [also] represents a taking of property rights.” “This is a community issue without community input. We are the community and voters in Sierra County. We deserve to be heard and we deserve to be treated fairly.” “No other crop recognized by the Dept. of Agriculture gets such size, growth, and plant limitations on it.” “What’s next are we going to be told how much food we can grow?”
“This ordinance will break the community effort to conform to the law”—“ [it] will create criminals.” “People who wish to be, literally begged to be, legitimate, who are legitimate at the state level, will again become outlaws.” “Law enforcement will be busy persecuting the sick and elderly and their caretakers; while those without concern for our natural environment and community health will be out in the forest constructing guerilla operations. This proposed ordinance would actually take resources that should be spent on protecting the land from those gross violators and wastes them by penalizing people who were, just the year before, operating within the protection of the law.” “The draconian $1000 a plant fine is intended to create a bounty for which the county can hunt. It is an insult to the people, patients, caregivers and collectives… who testified during the many public comments to the board.” “If my family decides that providing for our health… is more important than obeying the newly revised restrictions (and grows what was legally allowed last year), then we will be slapped with a whopping $52,000 fine.” “When I cannot pay the fine, what then? You take my land? [Yep. See section 8.02.080 C] I am not a criminal and do not deserve to be treated like this.” “Our rights are being violated [and] our intelligence is being disrespected.” “An over-arching code--passed without allowing for stakeholder/community negotiation--in spite of the protests from the group most affected (Sierra County’s MMJ patients and growers)-- is lazy, cold-hearted, and undemocratic” and “it invites legal action from the medical cannabis community.”
“Cannabis has been cultivated in Sierra County for years by your neighbors and friends.” “Most cultivators… work hard to respect regulations and use good management processes to respect their neighbors and environment”—“nurturing the land so that their crops are pure, renewable and natural.” Now is the time to preserve the small craft farms that are supporting many Northern Californians.”
“I urge you [the Board] to… meet with us to better understand what we do, how we do it and work together to find solution to the concerns we ALL share”—“a real compromise that addresses the public’s concerns and allows patients and providers to continue living within the law.” “We offer up our knowledge & expe-
riences to have an honest conversation with anyone sincerely interested…. Please open your hearts and
minds to finding viable solutions & compromises.” “Please refrain from insisting on this divide”—“We would prefer to work with the Board rather than against it.”
Of the 49 letters I reviewed that were made public with the ordinance packet, only one had anything negative to say about cannabis cultivation. The other 48, written by 28 different authors, were used to craft the article you just read and overwhelmingly oppose Sierra County Ordinance 1071. Unfortunately, the BOS dismissed massive public outcry and voted in the new ordinance… but there is still hope folks. Sierra County residents have responded by initiating a referendum to put the new law to a public vote and are out collecting signatures now. Whether you are a patient, a grower, a sympathetic citizen, or just someone who thinks that laws should be for the people by the people, please help by signing and/or circulating the referendum. We all deserve a say when our well-being and freedoms are at stake.
If you would like to sign the referendum and/or circulate, you can contact me personally by email at solhealingca@gmail.com and I will help connect you to someone who can assist you further. We have until May 19th to collect as many signatures of registered Sierra County voters as possible, so please do not hesitate to get involved. It is crucial to the continued vitality of our community that we achieve this referendum and vote down the new ordinance. Let’s grow a healthier future together!
Ian Ileson
Resident of Pike and a Sierra County Growers Assn. member

Dear Editor:
RE: More Sierra County Shenanigans or is this the “Real Deal?”
I recently read Supervisor Roen’s announcement of April 22, 2016, regarding a potential agreement by the UC System to purchase the entire Sierra Pacific (Loyalton) Industries property holdings for the development of a regional educational fa

Submitted: 05/05/16
Article By: not specified