On Jan. 24, 2017, California’s Calaveras County Board of Supervisors decided that voters will decide in May whether to ban commercial cannabis cultivation in the county.
“This decision belongs in the people’s hands,” said Supervisor Michael Oliveira, according to The Record. “Not in my hands. Not in these [other] four supervisors’ hands. The people’s hands.”
Before reaching its decision, the Board of Supervisors heard from several individuals during the meeting’s public comment period, both those in favor of the ban and those against it.
“You can prevent another nightmare of a summer for residents,” said Bill McManus, organizer of the proposed ban. “You can prevent another crime wave for residents to endure. You can stop the environmental devastation of our county. If you don’t, you will have to explain why.”
“I personally feel that marijuana is not a good thing for Calaveras County and not good for our youth,” added Aurora Weatherby, who helped gather signatures for the proposed ban, as reported by CBS Sacramento.
Several cultivators in the county also spoke during the public comment period.
“We’re good people just like everybody else trying to get into a business to try and bring an economic boom to the county,” said Caz Tomaszewski, Executive Director of the Calaveras Cannabis Alliance.
“This could really help save a lot of the woes of Calaveras County,” added Megan Guthrie, a cultivator in the county.
On Dec. 22, 2016, opponents of commercial cannabis cultivation in the county submitted a petition to the Board of Supervisors to ban such cultivation. After validating the petition, the board had three options: adopt the ban without alteration; schedule a special election for voters to determine the fate of the proposed ban; or order a special report on the proposed ban so the board could then adopt it or schedule a special election for it.
With the board opting for a vote on the matter, voters will decide the fate of the ban on May 2 in a special all-mail election.