Water waste regulation unnecessary

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at ask420@newsreview.com.

The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors just passed a law stating that growing medical cannabis is a “waste of water.” Can you elucidate?

—Wet Willy

Yup. Sigh. Last week, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors revised a few parts of the water code to further Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan’s vendetta against medical cannabis users. The new laws state that anyone growing more than the county limit of nine plants is “wasting water” and can be fined up to $500 per day. MacGlashan told the local press, “According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, a single marijuana plant uses an average of six gallons of water per day during the growing cycle.” I am not sure where the DFW came up with that number, but I can tell you that marijuana doesn’t need that much water.

This new law is unnecessary, ridiculous and pretty much unenforceable. I don’t see the county BOS going after people for growing too many tomatoes or keeping their lawn green in this drought or taking 30-minute showers. I am not sure why MacGlashan feels the need to continue to persecute cannabis users (Sac County has already banned cannabis dispensaries and outdoor growing), but she and the rest of the BOS really should take a look at themselves and see if they can figure out why they hate marijuana so much. Or all of the MMJ users in the county can get off of their apathetic butts and vote these cannaphobes out of office.

Last time I went to renew my letter of cannabis recommendation, my doctor’s office had a sign offering a recommendation that would allow me to grow 99 plants. Is this a good deal?

—Gene Thumb

This is not a good deal. It is damn near a lie. California state law allows medical cannabis patients to grow their own medicine. The state default is six adult plants and 12 baby plants. Cities and counties are allowed to set their own limits. Some places are very liberal (in Oakland you can grow 99 plants, no problem), some are less so (looking at you, Fresno “no one can grow marijuana ever” County). But a doctor can’t give you special permission to break the rules. This is from California NORML’s “Patient’s Guide to California Law”: “In a state Supreme Court ruling, People v. Kelly (2010), the court held that patients can NOT be prosecuted simply for exceeding the S.B. 420 limits; however, they can be arrested and forced to defend themselves as having had an amount consistent with their personal medical needs. Patients can be exempted from the limits if their physician specifically states that they need more; but beware of physicians who charge extra for ’cultivation’ licenses for large amounts. The validity of recommendations for specific plant numbers is doubtful.” Please keep this in mind when you are getting your letter and planning your garden.