Placer supervisors vote 4-1 in favor of zoning amendments that would ban medical pot | SierraSun.com

Placer supervisors vote 4-1 in favor of zoning amendments that would ban medical pot

Jason Shueh
Sierra Sun
Jason Shueh/Sierra SunPlacer County Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery, who represents Lake Tahoe, was the lone dissenting vote regarding the zoning amendment approved at Tuesday's board meeting in Auburn. Montgomery voted against the recommendation in favor of more research.
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AUBURN, Calif. and#8212; Placer County residents and officials who fear medical marijuana distribution will bolster crime rates scored a huge win Tuesday when the board of supervisors voted to make the practice illegal throughout the county’s unincorporated areas.

and#8220;It went exactly as expected,and#8221; said Anthony Mollins of the Truckee-based marijuana collective Tahoe Herbal Care, who attended Tuesday’s board meeting. He said the vote represents another reason why unincorporated areas in the county, such as Tahoe, should organize to have local control over things like zoning ordinances. and#8220;It’s easy to rule on something in Auburn for the people in unincorporated areas who voted against the ban.and#8221;

Tuesday’s 4-1 vote was to approve a zoning text amendment that defines and disallows all medical marijuana distribution from collectives, cooperatives and dispensaries.

Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery from District 5 and#8212; which represents Lake Tahoe and#8212; was the lone vote against the proposal. Montgomery said she supported rejecting the text amendment in favor of more research.

and#8220;The message that I think was very clear from the municipal advisory councils in District 5 was not that they we’re necessarily opposed to an outright ban, as opposed to a future outcome,and#8221; said Montgomery. Locally, both the North Tahoe and Squaw councils unanimously voted earlier this year to not support the amendment.

The state ballot decision in November to legalize marijuana for personal use is a possible future outcome Montgomery said would cost the county unnecessary expense should it pass. She also said the ban might force licensed county patients unnecessary hardship picking up their medicine.

Supervisor Robert Weygandt, of District 2, said he understood both arguments to the complex issue.

and#8220;I see exposure to the county either way,and#8221; Weygandt said. and#8220;For me the issue should be resolved, if it should be resolved, in a normal medical application and#8212; then we wouldn’t have to worry about this.and#8221;

According to previous reports, the county planning commission has cited a California Police Chief Association report that medicinal marijuana dispensaries cause crime as its main reason for the ban.

Supervisor Rocky Rockholm, representing District 1, said his police experience has shown him marijuana legalization is a bad thing because marijuana users only want to get high.

and#8220;I think one thing to keep in mind is that marijuana is still a schedule one drug and#8212; that means it has no proven benefit or use and it will remain that and I don’t see anything in the future that will change it,and#8221; Rockholm said.

Speaking about the November ballot measure, Rockholm said it doesn’t matter because federal law would not be changed.

Prior to Tuesday’s vote, Placer County Planning Agency Director Michael Johnson said the county’s zoning regulations do not regulate or define land use for medical marijuana distribution, hence the recommendation.