Signatures submitted

Medi-pot referendum petition filed with county Clerk-Recorder’s Office

Medical-marijuana advocates submitted a referendum petition last week to bring Butte County’s medi-pot ordinance to a public vote.

The Butte County Board of Supervisors adopted amendments to the ordinance in February that medi-pot users decried as prohibitively restrictive. Medi-pot advocate and supervisor candidate Andrew Merkel (pictured) told the supervisors to “go ahead and do it” during a recent meeting, promising to bring the issue to a public vote. Merkel and company followed through, submitting 12,262 signatures, well over the required 7,605.

The amendments were set to go into effect on March 14, but will remain suspended as Clerk-Recorder Candace Grubbs determines whether enough of the petition’s signatures are valid. If not, the ordinance will go into effect immediately. If enough are valid, the supervisors can either repeal the ordinance entirely or bring the issue to Butte County voters. In that case, the ordinance will remain suspended until the election—either the general election in November or a special election.