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June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
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County

Butte County
Measure H Ordinance - Majority Approval Required

To learn more about measures, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.

Election Results

Passed

28,218 votes yes (58.54%)

19,982 votes no (41.46%)

100% of precincts reporting (140/140).

48,200 ballots counted.

Shall Ordinance No. 4107, an Ordinance of the County of Butte amending Sections 34A-2, 34A-3, 34A-4, 34A-13, 34A-16 and 34A-19 of Chapter 34A of the Butte County Code, entitled "Restriction on Cultivation of Medical Marijuana" be adopted?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure

Summary

Chair, Butte County Board of Supervisors

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Butte, State of California, as follows:

1.     The Board hereby submits Ordinance No. 4107 to the voters at the Primary Election to be held June 7, 2016;

2.     The question to be submitted to the voters shall be: Shall Ordinance No. 4107, an Ordinance of the County of Butte amending Sections 34A-2, 34A-3, 34A-4, 34A-13, 34A-16 AND 34A-19 of Chapter 34A of the Butte County Code, entitled "Restrictions on Cultivation of Medical Marijuana" be adopted?

3.     Said election shall be consolidated with the statewide primary election to be held on June 7, 2016;

4.     Said election shall be held and conducted pursuant to the procedures specified in Part 3 of Division 10 of the California Elections Code commencing at Section 10400:

5.     For purposes of this election, and Ordinance No. 4107, the "County voters" and the "County electorate" shall include all voters in the County, including voters in the incorporated areas of the County; and

6.     In accordance with Elections Code Section 13120, the question to be submitted to the voters shall read as

follows:

Shall Ordinance No. 4107, an Ordinance of the County of Butte amending Sections 34A-2, 34A-3, 34A-4, 34A-13, 34A-16 AND 34A-19 of Chapter 34A of the Butte County Code, entitled "Restrictions on Cultivation of Medical Marijuana" be adopted?

Yes

No

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the referendum of Ordinance No. 4107 does not impact ordinances relating to Chapter 34A that were previously passed and adopted by the Board of Supervisor or approved by the voters.

 

PASSED AND ADOPTED at a regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Butte, State of California, this 8th day of March, 2016, by the following vote:

 

AYES: Supervisors Wahl, Kirk, Lambert, Teeter and Chair Connelly

 

NOES: None

 

ABSENT: None

 

NOT VOTING: None

Impartial analysis / Proposal

Butte County Counsel

Measure H is a referendum on Ordinance 4107 adopted by the Butte County Board of Supervisors. A referendum submits a Board-adopted ordinance to a vote of the County's registered voters. On January 26, 2016, the Board of Supervisors adopted Ordinance 4107, amending Chapter 34A of the Butte County Code. A referendum petition to either repeal Ordinance 4107 or submit it to the voters received the required number of signatures. On March 8, 2016, the Board of Supervisors chose to submit the ordinance to the voters. If approved by the voters, Ordinance 4107 would:

  1. Confirm that any parcel where marijuana is cultivated must contain a legal residence.
  2. Confirm that any parcel .5 of an acre or less is limited to a cultivation area of 50 square feet, which must be contained in a detached structure no larger than 120 square feet.

  3. Confirm that an individual living alone on a parcel that is greater than 5 acres may cultivate marijuana, but there must be at least one doctor's recommendation for every 50 square feet of plants.

  4. Combine civil penalties for the cultivation of marijuana in violation of Chapter 34A with the nuisance abatement process.

  5. Confirm that a penalty of $500 per day would accrue on the day a 72-Hour Notice to Abate is posted, and would increase to $1,000 per day if the violation is not timely corrected and the County is forced to set the matter for a Nuisance Abatement Hearing; but if the owner/tenant timely corrects the violation after receiving a 72-Hour Notice to Abate, no hearing would be scheduled and no penalties would be awarded.

  6. Require the County to prove that a violation existed at the time a Notice of Hearing is posted, and not at the time the hearing is held, so that the County could recover its costs and penalties in cases where the owner/tenant failed to timely correct the violation after receiving the 72-Hour Notice to Abate.

  7. Allow the County to recover costs and penalties awarded by a hearing officer by placing a lien on the property.

  8. Reduce the time for an owner/tenant to abate a violation to ten days from the date the hearing officer's decision is placed in the mail.

A "yes" vote means you support implementing these provisions.

A "no" vote means you do not support implementing these provisions.

If a majority of the votes cast on the measure are "yes", then the measure will be approved and Ordinance 4107 will become effective ten days after the vote is declared by the Board of Supervisors. If a majority of the votes cast on the measure are "no", then the measure will not be approved and Ordinance 4107 will not become effective. This vote on Measure H will not impact ordinances relating to Chapter 34A that were previously passed and adopted by the Board of Supervisors or approved by the voters.

s/Bruce S. Alpert, Butte County Counsel

Financial effect

County Auditor-Controller

 

The Butte County Auditor Controller has prepared the (Referendum on Amendments to the Medical Marijuana Cultivation Ordinance) pursuant to Election Code Section 9160. This analysis of the resulting costs and revenues of the proposed measure is based on projected requirements to fulfill the intent of the measure.

 

Fiscal Impact:

 

The intent of this Measure is to repeal the amendments to the revised enforcement and hearing process adopted by the Board of Supervisors in January 2016, which was intended to make the County’s Code Enforcement process for the abatement of Cultivation of Medical Marijuana Ordinance violations more efficient, resulting in cases arriving at a Hearing Officer more quickly. It also clarified that penalties are recoverable costs for Hearing Officers to apply in their judgements.

 

Under this Measure, the County would be required to follow the Ordinance in place before the January 2016 amendments which provided that upon confirmation of a violation, a 72 Hour Notice to Abate and Citation up to $500 per day may be issued. If a violation exists after 72 hours as confirmed in a follow up inspection, the Code Enforcement Officer may issue a new Citation with fines up to $1,000 per day until the violations are abated and schedule the case for a Nuisance Abatement Hearing.  Prior to the Hearing, the Code Enforcement Officer must validate that the violation still exists for the Hearing Officer.  This Measure would further allow the County to recover its costs and penalties in cases where the owner/tenant failed to timely correct the violation after receiving the 72

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR

Smells   Traffic Nuisance   Crime  All these are associated with Marijuana Cultivation.  Vote Yes on H to ensure marijuana cultivation limits are respected and enforced.

Measure H streamlines the enforcement process, stopping violations sooner

Measure H closes loopholes growers use to skirt the law. Clarified language eliminates wiggle room.”

Measure H ends stalling tactics used by growers to complete their pot harvest and evade fines. Many growers only came into compliance” after being cited, because they harvested before their hearings occurred. With Measure H, violations only have to be proven to exist at the time of citation, not at the time of the hearing.

Measure H ensures more fines are collected.  Fines are the best tool to stop non-compliant growers. In 2015, $2.9M in citations were issued, but only 6% (about $171,000) were collected due to loopholes, stalling tactics and other dodges.   Measure H stops the “free pass.”

Measure H doesn’t change the growing limits. People can still grow from 50 to 150 square feet of plants for medical use.

In 2014, voters approved Measure A by wide margins. This created reasonable rules limiting the cultivation of Medical Marijuana, adequate for patients but not for commercial profiteers. Measure A was very successful in 2015 by reducing the for-profit grows. However, many growers still flaunt the law and violate the rules. Measure H stops the scofflaws.

In 2015, Code Enforcement eradicated over 34,000 plants and wrote over 894 citations. Illegal activities discovered by Code Enforcement resulted in 11 arrests by law enforcement, helping rid our area of criminals. Three Honey Oil labs were eradicated. Many neighborhoods were restored to their former tranquility.

Measure A cleaned up neighborhoods. Measure H means better enforcement of Measure A.

Vote Yes on H to ensure marijuana Cultivation limits are obeyed.

s/ Michael L. Ramsey, Butte County District Attorney 

s/ Jerry W. Smith, Retired Sheriff  

s/ David Daley, Vice President – California Cattlemen’s Association 

s/ Sean P. Early, President, Butte County Cattlemen’s Association 

s/ Kory L. Honea, Butte County Sheriff-Coroner

— Butte County Clerk

Arguments AGAINST

Whether you are an advocate, an ally, an adversary or a neutral bystander as it relates to cannabis and its evolving place in our communities and our economy, what we can and should all agree on is that each and every one of us is entitled to fair and equitable treatment by our government and its agencies.

Measure A is a flawed ordinance. It remains flawed, even with the proposed amendments. These amendments were submitted and requested by one of the constituencies affected by Measure A — but only one. Enforcement. And while enforcement, and the agencies that are tasked with it, are entitled to their say in how well something is working and how it might be improved, they are only one voice. One perspective. And no regulation, rule, ordinance, law, or statute should be developed, amended or revoked based only on one perspective.

Enforcement of Measure A has been documented as inconsistent, ineffective, expensive, unevenly applied, and in some cases may even have violated the personal and property rights of your neighbors. It is our firm belief that unless and until the County solicits and considers input from all the stakeholders affected by this Ordinance — farmers, law enforcement, patients, business owners, landlords — and addresses the unequal and inconsistent application and claims of abuse, we should all have to live with the voter-backed version currently in place.

We recommend a NO vote and encourage a broader re-evaluation of Measure A.

s/Jessica MacKenzie

— Butte County Clerk

Replies to Arguments FOR

Vote No on H — defend due process. Defend fair and equitable treatment for Butte County citizens.

Measure H is no knight on a white horse riding in to "stop violations sooner", "stop the scofflaws", and "ensure cannabis cultivation limits are obeyed." It is an incomplete attempt to address a flawed  ordinance that has never been properly implemented.

Supporters of a yes vote criticize the lack of revenue generated while calling cannabis farmers "profiteers" - as though making a living is only okay if it doesn't come from cannabis.

Revenue-driven enforcement is a slippery slope that sets a dangerous precedent. And if Butte County wants to earn revenue from cannabis farmers. then we should figure out how to regulateIT.

Supporters of a yes vote say fines weren't collected because Code Enforcement didn't have the tools they needed.

They did. Fines were tossed for improper procedures, lack of training for temporary hires, as the County recently confirmed, and yes, fines were tossed because people were innocentT.

Supporters of a yes vote overlook the fact that a more appropriate allocation of resources could increase the eradication of dangerous honey oil labs and mitigate the 40 meth labs that led to Oroville's #2 ranking for methamphetamines.

Conflating cannabis cultivation with these illegal activities is simply a way to characterize our farmers as criminals, and does a disservice to our community.

Don't be fooled. Pretend this is about your rights, your due process, your presumption of fair and equitable treatment.

Vote for fairness. Vote No on H.

s/Jessica MacKenzie

— Butte County Clerk

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

Don't be fooled by the opponent's dishonest and misleading statements.

The opponent says that the only voice in crafting the Measure H Amendments to our County Marijuana Cultivation Ordinance was Enforcement. This is untrue. The County heard input from growers and those representing family and neighborhood interests. Citizens who filed complaints against non-compliant Marijuana grows expressed dismay that many large commercial marijuana grows continue to use the harvest loophole to avoid paying fines. Marijuana growers expressed their objections as well. All perspectives were considered, not just one.

We do agree that Butte County's Marijuana Cultivation Ordinance needs stronger enforcement teeth. That's why we support Measure H.

The amendments in Measure H will make much-needed improvements to County enforcement of our Marijuana Cultivation Ordinance rules. Measure H will close the enforcement loopholes that are enabling law-breaking marijuana operators to escape punishment. Measure H will ensure that pot growers who violate the law are required to pay fines in a timely manner. It will level the playing field to stop the scofflaws and make sure that all marijuana growers follow the same rules.

The voters of Butte County already approved our County Marijuana Ordinance by a wide margin in November 2014. Voters expect it to be enforced. Measure H will accomplish this.

Vote Yes on Measure H — give law enforcement the tools needed to protect the people of Butte County by properly enforcing our voter-approved Marijuana Cultivation Ordinance.

s/Joan C. Townsend, Retired Medical Clinic Director, Del Norte Clinics


s/Lawrence C. Grundmann, Jr., Retired Entergy Utility Executive


s/Sean P. Earley, President, Butte County Cattlemen's Association


s/David Daley, Vice-President, California Cattlemen's Association


s/Ed McLaughlin, Farmer - Retired Butte County Supervisor 

— Butte County Clerk

Read the proposed legislation

More information

Contact Info

Yes on Measure H
info@bcfact.org
Address:
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A
NA, CA NA
No on Measure H
Inland Canabis Farmers Association
Contact Name:

Contact Person:Jessica MacKenzie

Email jessica@chico.com
Phone: 530-828-1734
Phone: 530-828-1734
Address:
NA
NA
NA, CA NA
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