Power of the patients

Supervisors expected to discuss medical-cannabis outcome August 9

Butte County’s medical-marijuana-cultivation ordinance is on hold after the Citizens for Compassionate Use group spearheaded a petition drive that collected 12,308 signatures. The petition calls for the Board of Supervisors either to repeal the ordinance or put it to a vote of the people.

The ordinance, approved May 24, allows growing plants depending on a parcel’s size. The county Registrar of Voters has 30 days to count the valid signatures—it needs 7,605. Supervisors are expected to discuss the outcome at their Aug. 9 meeting.

Should the ordinance go into effect, due to lack of signatures or after a popular vote, medical-marijuana attorney Scot Candell, based in San Rafael, says he already has a lawsuit drawn up and ready to file on behalf of local patients.

“It’s illegal. State law creates a right for an individual patient to grow medicine for themselves,” he said. “Butte County basically makes it illegal based on the size of property they own.”