Letters: Do cannabis right – Ukiah Daily Journal

To the Editor:

Dear Chair Haschak and Board members,

Speaking on behalf of friends and neighbors, we are seeking transparency and accountability in Cannabis Code Enforcement reporting.  The Cannabis Enforcement webpage shows seven complaints for 2018, one complaint for 2019 and an annual summary for 2018.  We request that the website be updated and relevant information posted on-line, so a complainant can follow the status of their complaint.

Humboldt growers are moving to Mendocino County because Mendocino County does not adequately enforce it’s Cannabis Ordinance.  Humboldt County uses active enforcement based on evaluation of  satellite images, followed up with field inspection.  Humboldt County cannabis enforcement brought in $4,707,086* in under three years, to the County from enforcement actions.  This amount paid the enforcement costs, injected money into the general fund, benefitted the environment, and aides legal growers.

The contrast with Mendocino County’s weak enforcement of a complaint-based system is striking and fiscally irresponsible.  Many citizens decline to complain about a cannabis neighbor due to fear of retaliation.  Many others report no action taken on their filed complaint. A majority of these complaints could be identified by active enforcement.  It should not be the citizens obligation to enforce the law.  Adopting Humbolt county’s active enforcement model, protects citizens from grower retaliation, adds protection to valuable environmental resources and promotes legal growers.

Having Mendocino County serve as a magnet and haven for lawbreaking growers from enforcement counties will further diminish our natural resources and continue to degrade the quality of life for residents.  Clearly this County is in no position to increase the number of growers until the active enforcement model is adopted and initiated.

My personal experience with the Cannabis Code Enforcement Office is that I left 3 telephone messages over a period of 3 weeks before I received a call back.  I requested to see the Cannabis Enforcement data for 2019 and 2020.  As of this writing, it’s been over a month since my first request and still no data.  What kind of public service is this?

The PBS report to the BOS in the 9/22 BOS Agenda lists the PBS priorities for the Planning Department for fiscal year 2020/2021.  PBS priority #3 is to dramatically expand Cannabis into Phase III, despite the on-going disasters of Phase 1 and II.  Priority #11 is to “study” Code Enforcement staffing, use of satellite imagery and increase administrative fines for violations to cover costs.

Please contact the CEO office, your District Supervisor and supervisorial candidates if you agree these priorities should be reversed.   No Cannabis expansion until Active Enforcement can cope with current conditions.

-Dennis Slota, Willits

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