Pot growers join forces

Medical-marijuana advocates hope petition will stop cultivation ordinance

Medical-marijuana growers in Butte County are getting together in force to sign petitions asking for the recently approved cultivation ordinance to go to a popular vote or be repealed. Matt Larkins of the Save Butte Growers Rights group says he believes there are already enough signatures to qualify, but they’re not stopping until the June 20 deadline to turn in the forms to the county.

“They’re coming out of the hills in droves,” he said by phone.

The petition is in response to the cultivation ordinance recently adopted by the Butte County Board of Supervisors that would levy fees on residents who grow more than six plants while setting up a sliding scale of how many plants are allowed based on the size of the parcel of land. People who live on half an acre or smaller will not be allowed to grow. A class-action lawsuit is also in the works, reports Andy Merkel from the local Citizens for Compassionate Use group.

“I have faith in the 215 community,” Larkins said. “They [the supervisors] underestimated us. They assumed we were all a bunch of stoners.”