Planning Commission on Pot: Next week’s Ordinance Review

Well, you guessed it THC fans – the Planning Commission met to talk about cannabis regulations yesterday, and true to form, did not make a whole ton of progress. Surprise!(?)

But seriously, while that’s not all that surprising, it is a little worrisome seeing as how this is a pretty huge ordinance for Humboldt. No matter what side of the pot you sit on, there’s not denying the implications for this ordinance are huge. The especially worrisome part of the equation is that after 3-ish years of semi-secret development, our supremely wise Supervisor’s have mandated the Planning Commission complete their newly-opened-to-the-public work by December 3rd. Oh, Humboldt: aren’t you a gem? The Times-Standard had an interesting read on the public’s response at last night’s meeting. You can read it here.

Of course, the Board does have good reason for the December 3rd deadline, seeing as how State Assembly Bill 243 requires counties to have regulations in place by March 2016. However, that doesn’t excuse giving the public basically one month to comment in a 3 year process.

While there are a lot of problems with the ordinance as it is, THC isn’t sure the Planning Commission is discussing things that will make the ordinance better. For example, Planning Commissioner Noah Levy proposed a cap limit for grows.

Now, it seems like Noah is an affable guy with good intentions trying to make a difference. (It is quite sad, really, to see him shot down so often by  the sharks which surround him on the Commission .) But if THC understands his proposal correctly, it would essentially grandfather in people with existing grows (you know, the people who have been growing pot illegally for decades) while not allowing people who may have waited their chance to grow legally like good citizens. This might make sense from an extreme environmental perspective if you presuppose that anything that most of the world calls progress is in fact going to immediately lead to eco-Armageddon. But, we think that rewarding outlaws and restricting law-abiders does no good for using legalized pot as the economic savior of Humboldt that is often touted to be.

You see, grandfathering existing grows and forbidding new ones is just a small escalation from the Humboldt tradition of merely allowing outlaws and ne’er do wells to operate with impunity to actively rewarding them for illegal activities. And who says Humboldt isn’t making any progress these days?

Aside from that, it will be interesting to see what zones the Planning Commission feels is appropriate to grow in. Looks like TPZ grows might get outlawed, may or may not be good – THC just doesn’t think it will work. There’s gotta be tons of people currently growing on TPZ lands,  and there’s no way this ordinance is going to stop them. Besides if you’re allowed to have a house on TPZ why shouldn’t you be allowed to have a garden?

In any case, stay tuned to THC and the many, many Planning Commission meetings set to take place over the next few weeks for updates on the new ordinance. (Side-note: did you know that each Planning Commission meeting costs roughly $2088.58 to run? That’s a lot of cash we are spending on the Commission getting together to accomplish nothing!)



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4 Responses to Planning Commission on Pot: Next week’s Ordinance Review

  1. MOLA42 says:

    I’m clueless about Marijuana and I shall demonstrate that shortcoming here:

    I see Noah Levy’s point… he’s trying to keep an R.J. Reynolds tobacco mega-corporate scene from taking root in Humboldt. I think that does more to protect “the little grower” than allowing everyone to plant their eyeballs-out in a green greed rush.

    But TPZ discussions are academic… As mentioned by many before me, the woods are just about the worst place there is to grow weed. Conventional agriculture practices will out-produce and out-price wood grown weed. So the TPZ bit isn’t about small weed farmers but about getting land owners the chance to develop their TPZ’s as the owner wishes and still get the tax benefit.

    Pooh on that, I say (sorry for the rough language folks).

    Like

  2. Need a Job says:

    I don’t really have an opinion about caps but I think that it’s really unfortunate that the Supervisors allowed so little time for the Planning Commission to figure this out. Marijuana is arguably the only economic engine our county has. This is an incredibly important issue and I don’t understand why they’ve wasted the last several years doing nothing and are now rushing through a half assed process now. Don’t these people understand we need jobs?

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  3. “Side-note: did you know that each Planning Commission meeting costs roughly $2088.58 to run? That’s a lot of cash we are spending on the Commission getting together to accomplish nothing!”

    Most of the meeting last Thursday was public comment. People supporting more public comment (and action on that public comment) like the Public Participation Workgroup would be so disappointed in that sentiment. (Note: Bonnie Blackberry of the PPW was there Thursday night and spoke.)

    Democracy can be expensive sometimes. Is listening to a public reaction (and Weed Inc’s continued advocacy) “accomplish(ing) nothing”?

    But of course it is those darn Libs who are really the tyrants by definition. Here is just a recent example that I concede has no connection whatsoever to THC. What it does help explain is the national narrative that the real problem is the tyrannical, dimwitted, government-loving libs.

    “”This is what liberals do best,” Swanson bellowed. “This is their agenda. They are, by definition, tyrants!” –

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/kevin-swanson-liberals-are-definition-tyrants#sthash.891FslYt.dp

    If THC had it’s druthers, I wonder how a Planning Commission would run given that little document written all that time ago?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous says:

      While I generally like the points that THC makes on this one I agree with Jon. Public input is really important and generally more is better. It’s very concerning that this process has been going on for several years and we are just now getting input from the public. It was very interesting to watch the response from Lee Ulancy and Noah Levy when the county lawyer suggested that the Commission could shut down public comment to save time. Both Levy and Ulancy jumped on this and shut down this poorly thought out scheme. Good on them.

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