Monday, January 12, 2009

Medical Zoning sought in Mendocino

Request for land-use rules met with skepticism


Published: Friday, January 9, 2009 at 4:22 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 9, 2009 at 9:14 a.m.

Mendocino County medical marijuana advocates have proposed that pot production be regulated through land-use requirements in the county's general plan, saying it would legitimize growers and generate income for the county.

But Mendocino County supervisors have no intention of taking up the issue.

"I put that in the ridiculous category," Supervisor John Pinches said Thursday.

The case for medical marijuana zoning was submitted in a letter to county supervisors by former Supervisor Norman deVall on behalf of the Mendocino Medical Marijuana Advisory Board.

The board "believes that normalizing legitimate growing of medical marijuana for the benefit not only of patient-growers, collectives and cooperatives but also for the county is overdue," wrote de Vall, a planning and land use consultant.

Pebbles Trippet, a medical marijuana advocate and advisory board secretary, has said such regulations could raise significant revenue for the county in a time of financial crisis.

It also could be a way of finding middle ground between law enforcement and the medical marijuana community, which have been increasingly at odds, she said.

Just how the regulations would help the county was unclear.

By law, land use permits can recover only the actual costs of regulation. Unless the federal government joins California in legalizing medical marijuana, it cannot legally be taxed.

Requiring growers to take out a permit to cultivate their marijuana would be asking them to incriminate themselves and place the county in jeopardy, said Supervisor David Colfax.

"The county can't put itself in the position of permitting the growing and possession of marijuana," he said.

You can reach Staff Writer Glenda Anderson at 462-6473 or

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