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 1071â€”the new medical marijuana cultivation codeâ€”despite wide ranging protests from county residents. Having witnessed this injustice firsthand, Iâ€™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:
â€œI have around 15 medical conditionsâ€¦ which cause chronic painâ€¦ I need a lot of medicine.â€ â€œIf it wasnâ€™t for marijuana I do not know if I would be alive today.â€ â€œI was a victim of a car wreckâ€¦ I broke my back, hip and pelvis in four placesâ€¦ When I discovered medical marijuana I got my life backâ€¦ I cannot afford to go purchase it elsewhere.â€ â€œShould the proposed changes [No. 1071] take effect, we will not be able to grow our prescribed medicine.â€ â€œPlease take these words of a sick, hard-working man into considerationâ€â€”â€œPlease donâ€™t change [the now old] ordinance.â€
â€œ[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.â€ â€œAllowâ€¦ collective gardens that have been acting in compliance with state and local law to continue.â€ â€œThe proposed ordinance is harsh, unjust,
and most severely affects the aged and ailingâ€â€”â€œmost medical marijuana patients are elderly and/or disabled and on fixed incomes.â€ â€œThe 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.â€ â€œNo one other than an experienced doctor is qualified to recommend how much cannabis a person needs based on his or her ailmentâ€â€”â€œthe amount of medicine a patient needs is their decision to make along with their physician.â€ â€œDo you really think someone with stage-4 liver cancer, severe arthritis or chronic pain can cultivate the amount of cannabis they need?â€--Donâ€™t you want to see people who are sick get better?â€â€”â€œPlease help us keep our right to medicine!â€
â€œWe all have different terrain, abilities, and resources for our cultivation practicesâ€¦ what one person can get out of one plant another may need five or ten.â€ â€œMany flowers [cannabis buds] have to be disposed of due to pests, mold, and mildewâ€¦[some] are lost to storms and animals.â€ â€œHaving adequate space and an ample plant count allow us to pick the best of our medicine and ensure that we have what we need.â€ â€œWe 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 nowâ€â€”â€œto tear outâ€¦ and redesign our gardensâ€ â€œwill cost so much it will make it impossible for the sick to grow their medicine.â€
â€œYou [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 themâ€--â€œYou 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 pricesâ€--â€œYou are depriving these people of their quality of life and health.â€ â€œThe 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.â€ â€œAs representatives you have a duty to empower your constituents to pursue health, wealth, and happiness. We deserve your assistance not resistance.â€
â€œ[The passage of Ordinance 1071 shows a] lack of appropriate legislative due process with resulting loss of rightsâ€¦ [and a] lack of legislative justificationâ€¦ Patients have legal rights; collectives are allowed to functionâ€¦ The new Sierra County ordinance fails to protect those rightsâ€¦. It [also] represents a taking of property rights.â€ â€œThis 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.â€ â€œNo other crop recognized by the Dept. of Agriculture gets such size, growth, and plant limitations on it.â€ â€œWhatâ€™s next are we going to be told how much food we can grow?â€
â€œThis ordinance will break the community effort to conform to the lawâ€â€”â€œ [it] will create criminals.â€ â€œPeople who wish to be, literally begged to be, legitimate, who are legitimate at the state level, will again become outlaws.â€ â€œLaw 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.â€ â€œThe 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 collectivesâ€¦ who testified during the many public comments to the board.â€ â€œIf my family decides that providing for our healthâ€¦ 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.â€ â€œWhen 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.â€ â€œOur rights are being violated [and] our intelligence is being disrespected.â€ â€œAn over-arching code--passed without allowing for stakeholder/community negotiation--in spite of the protests from the group most affected (Sierra Countyâ€™s MMJ patients and growers)-- is lazy, cold-hearted, and undemocraticâ€ and â€œit invites legal action from the medical cannabis community.â€
â€œCannabis has been cultivated in Sierra County for years by your neighbors and friends.â€ â€œMost cultivatorsâ€¦ work hard to respect regulations and use good management processes to respect their neighbors and environmentâ€â€”â€œnurturing the land so that their crops are pure, renewable and natural.â€ Now is the time to preserve the small craft farms that are supporting many Northern Californians.â€
â€œI urge you [the Board] toâ€¦ meet with us to better understand what we do, how we do it and work together to find solution to the concerns we ALL shareâ€â€”â€œa real compromise that addresses the publicâ€™s concerns and allows patients and providers to continue living within the law.â€ â€œWe offer up our knowledge & expe-
riences to have an honest conversation with anyone sincerely interestedâ€¦. Please open your hearts and
minds to finding viable solutions & compromises.â€ â€œPlease refrain from insisting on this divideâ€â€”â€œWe would prefer to work with the Board rather than against it.â€
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 ordinanceâ€¦ 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. Letâ€™s grow a healthier future together!
Resident of Pike and a Sierra County Growers Assn. member
RE: More Sierra County Shenanigans or is this the â€œReal Deal?â€
I recently read Supervisor Roenâ€™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