Sunday, November 9, 2014
Gotta learn to stick to my guns. On June 5, 2014, I wrote:
"Cannabis Advocates like Andrew Merkel, with their hundreds of thousands of dollars and an army of stoned volunteers, might not have such an easy time of it in Butte County this Fall. They won two years ago with a ballot measure that was difficult to comprehend what you were voting for, or against. This time the lines will be better defined and we are beginning to understand the social and environmental costs of a massive Cannabis Economy. I think the Chico ER under-estimates the backlash against the Cannabis Industry. I think the vote will be very close this Fall."
Of course, it wasn't close. The advocates of having a commercial cannabis industry got handed quite a loss. And turnout looks like it was better than at first suggested. Some 15,000 uncounted ballots brings the turnout up to over 50%. All of these will come from the Mail In ballots that just got handed in at the polls, plus some Provisional ballots. About half these ballots have now been counted and there hasn't been much of a change in the numbers in any of the races. The Democrats still got trounced in Chico. Measure A wins with a huge majority; Measure B loses with an even bigger vote against it.
Fall out. Turns out that many Democrats felt the same way as me about the dirty campaign tactics and the endorsement of the illegal Cannabis Industry. A letter to the editor in the Chico ER called for a protest against the party by changing your registration from Democrat to Independent. At a meeting of rural Democrats yesterday, there was universal condemnation of the endorsement and the Democratic Central Committee. There will be a party post mortem in December that might be very interesting to attend.
What these rural Democrats really wanted to know was how much money the Chico Democratic Candidates and the Central Committee received from the Cannabis Industry. We know that it was at the very least, $1,000. Some think it might be much higher than that. When the campaigns make their final reports we should be able to trace the final dollar amounts.
In the meantime, the county is trying to figure out how to enforce the new codes. It does look like these codes will be enforced aggressively and the primary mechanism will be through fines. There will be levies assessed of $500 a day against the property owner until the garden is removed or brought into a legal size.
The people have spoken: they do not want to have a commercial cannabis industry in our county. At least, not the way it is presently done without licensure of the production, distribution and sale of cannabis.