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October 17, 2018     Feather River Bulletin
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October 17, 2018
 

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018 11B OPINION .a WHERE I STAND national average. Now Colorado's prominencb in marijuana-related trafficother states considering BOB TROYER fatalities are up by 151 commercialization. U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE percent. Now 70 percent of As the U.S. attorney DISTRICT OF COLORADO 400 licensed pot shops leading other U.S. In 2012, we were told surveyed recommend that attorneys on marijuana Colorado would lead the pregnant women use issues, I have traveled the nation on a grand marijuana to treat morning country and heard what experiment in sickness. Now an indoor people are saying about commercialized marijuana, marijuana grow consumes Colorado. Do they tout Six years later -- with two 17 times more power per Colorado's tax revenue major industry reports just square foot than an average from commercialized released and the state residence. Now each of the marijuana? No, because legislature and Denver City approximately one millionthere's been no net gain: Council about to consider adult marijuana plants marijuana tax revenue more expansion measures grown by licensed growersadds less than one percent -- it's a perfect time to in Colorado consumes overto Colorado's coffers, which pause and assess some 2.2 liters of water -- per is more than washed out by results of that experiment, day. Now Colorado has the public health, public Where has our breathless issued over 40 safety, and regulatory costs sprint into full-scale little-publicized recalls of of commercialization. marijuana retail marijuana laced with Do they highlight commercialization led pesticides and mold. commercialization's Colorado? And now Colorado has a elimination of a marijuana Well, recent reports from booming black market black market? No, because the Rocky Mountain High exploiting our permissiveColorado's black market Intensity Drug Trafficking regulatory system -- has actually exploded after Area, from Denver Health, including Mexican cartel commercialization: we from Energy Associates, growers for that black have become a source-state, from the Colorado market who use a theater of operation for Department of Revenue nerve-agent pesticides that sophisticated international and from the City of are contaminating drug trafficking and money Denver should be enough Colorado's soft, waters, and laundering organizations to give everyone in this wildlife, from Cuba, China, Mexico, race pause. Marijuana and elsewhere. Now Colorado's youth commercialization has ledDo they promote our use marijuana at a rate 85 Colorado to these places,success in controlling percent higher than the It also has led to production or containing marijuana within our borders? No, because last year alone the regulated industry produced 6.4 metric tons of unaccounted-for rharijuana, and over 80,000 black market plants were found on Colorado's federal lands. Does the industry trumpet its promised decrease in alcohol use? No, because Colorado's alcohol consumption has steadily climbed since marijuana commercialization. How about the industry's claim that marijuana will cure opioid addiction? No, a Lancet study found that heavy marijuana users end up with more pain and are more likely to abuse opioids. Yet on that last point, the marijuana industry is trying to exploit our nation's opioid tragedy to push its own controlled substance as a panacea. Why? It's a profit opportunity. Which is also how they see our youth. Which is why in Colorado they now sell marijuana-consumption devices that avoid detection at schools, like vape pens made to look like high-lighters and eye-liner. These are the same marketers who advertise higher and higher potency marijuana gummi candy, marijuana suppositories, and marijuana "intimate creams." This aggressive marketing makes perfect sense in addiction industries like tobacco, alcohol, opioids, and marijuana. These industries make the vast majority of their profits from heavy users, and so they strive to create and maintain this user market. Especially when users are young and their brains are most vulnerable to addiction. I'm not sure the 55 percent of Coloradans who voted for commercialization in 2012 thought they were voting for all this. These impacts are why you may start seeing U.S. attorneys shift toward criminally charging licensed marijuana businesses and their investors. After all, a U.S. attorney is responsible for public safety. My office has always looked at marijuana solely through that lens; and that approach has not changed. But the public safety impacts of marijuana in Colorado have. Now that federal enforcement has shot down marijuana grows on federal lands, the crosshairs may appropriately shift to the public harms caused by licensed businesses and their investors, particularly those who are not complying with state law or trying to use purported state compliance as a shield. We should pause and catch our breath before racing off again at the industry's urging. Let's call it "just say know." Let's educate ourselves about the impacts of commercialization. Let's reclaim our right as citizens to have a say in Colorado's health, safety, and environment. Unfettered commercialization is not inevitable. You have a say. roB: WHERE I STAND out a W-2 form for a job B for months and in spite PATRICK LUSCRI that's federally illegal?of the moratorium. And if CANNABIS And if growers aren't patients truly need B, why CmZENS GROUP reporting wages for are many voting against employees, how can the it? Little did Shakespeare state and county cash in The truth is that the know his line in Hamlet's accurately from income growers who wrote B have soliloquy would be tax revenue on cash-only been hiding behind adopted for a commercial businesses? patients for a long time. cannabis ballot decision in Here's another flaw: They use them as a talking Plumas County more than How can the county track point and smokescreen to four centuries after he cash-only local cannabis win over compassionate penned it. The Bard businesses' income and voters. I know; I've heard abides, expenses? I know -- it and read it, and I'm a Here we are and the big there's the Measure B twopatient. question is this: Do we percent "sales tax" that's Measure B proponents vote yes or no on Measure actually a General Tax onknow that Plumas patients B? By now most have net business profit --net, are growing for heard arguments from not gross, mind you. themselves and sharing both sides. Let's refresh by This net profit tax is with one another and thinking through each completely self-reported others. The truth is that Measure B claim, one at and is minus business they're getting all the time, with clarity and expenses. This means thatmedicine they need and honesty, a Plumas cannabis then some. The patient B will stimulate our business owner can treat access stuff is a cynical local economy. Makes her entire family to an scare tactic that doesn't sense on the surface, all-expense-paid trip to scare patients one whit. Create a new industry and Hawaii to research a new Don't let it scare you. jobs and taxes and revenue strain of sativa and deduct Next claim: B will will follow. The flaw in the entire cost from the protect children. this reckoning is this: New county's two percent tax Proponents tout setbacks industries that stimulate take. from schools and promises local economies work best This is essentially an to obey state law when they're federally honor system tax that prohibiting marketing to legal, relies on the honesty of minors. Setbacks? The Why? To create jobs and some who've been only effective setback stimulate Plumas' dishonestly working the would be outside county economy, Measure B system for years. This is a limits. All B setbacks are commercial cannabis trusty source of Measure good for is keeping kids business owners must hire B's promised revenue? from seeing large grows employees who can pay Next claim: B will make from their classroom national, state and local it possible for Plumas windows. income taxes, patients to get their I'm glad Measure B This requires legality medicine. Plumas patientsgrowers say they'll not from the Feds. How can a have been getting their market their product to newly licensed grower fill medicine without Measure our children. It's the law is is what WHERE I STAND KIM SCOTr CO-AUTHOR MEASURE B What a long strange trip it's been. For almost three years I have spent nearly every day and every night studying California cannabis laws, researching the effects of these laws on different parts of the state, and reading studies and stories about cannabis treatments for medical patients. Good luck finding a local official I have not had harsh words with, a meeting I have not attended, or a person whose call I did not return. I took my appointment to the Plumas County Working Group very seriously, I feared letting the people down, and I was devastated when I realized it was a Dog and Pony Show. However, my commitment to create a safe, effective, and beneficial cannabis ordinance was to the people, not the BOS. So, I left the Working Group and wrote Measure B, because that was what I was responsible to the citizens of this County to do. Measure B is a very complicated document, because California cannabis laws have become extremely complicated. There are literally thousands of pages of law, I've read them several times. Protecting the people of this County, while creating safe access, and maintaining compliance with every state law is not an easy task. I don't reasonably believe an everyday person would want or need to be that aware of every state requirement, but if you want to launch a campaign against it you should. Last night I attended the Plumas Action Network's Measure B debate in Quincy and I was excited and well prepared. The No on B people say there is no enforcement, but the CDFW, Taxation Department, and Water Board have "roving" task forces. They say you can't pay taxes, get unemployment, disability, or paid family leave from a cannabis employer, so I brought the HOW TO instructions form for cannabis businesses from the EDD. They said our kids will have more access to cannabis, I brought reports from everywhere showing teen use rates had not increased, and asked "When the last time someone from the blaak market carded high school students?" See Scott, page 15B and should be obeyed for that reason and for better ones. The truth is that B would change our county's culture and character from safe and family-oriented to risky and shady. Instead of being known as a camping and hiking destination, Plumas would become a mini Humboldt or Calaveras. It would no longer be a safe environment for our children. Next claim: B will protect our natural resources and water. Proponents point to a state water board and other regulatory agencies in Sacramento that they say will ensure they follow all the rules or? Nothing. There aren't any water board SWAT teams cruising around Plumas to make sure everyone stays in line. The water board they talk about doesn't yet have an enforcement mechanism in place. And when they do, it will be complaint driven. How will any conscientious Plumas resident be able to audit Measure B grows? And besides, Measure.B exempts priOrity resident growers from state environmental oversight. No CEQA. The truth is that water diversion and pesticide use will be as enforceable as the state's ATV helmet law in the backcountry. Or laws that require us to pack out what we pack in at Plumas campgrounds. Next claim: B will preserve and enhance our local economy. Question: Shouldn't Measure B proponents have shopped local to help enhance our economy by buying yard signs and mailers from Plumas small businesses? Instead, they spent 75 percent of their political action committee money ~out of county. Is this any l way to preserve and enhance our local economy? The jobs Measure B proponents claim their commercial cannabis ordinance will create will See Luscri, page 15B Paid political advertisement for the Tuesday, November 6, 2018 General Election (Listed approx, progressive to conservative) PROPOSITIONS ORGANIZATIONS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 11 12 Green Party of California Y N Y N N Y ; Y Y N Y : i Peace & Freedom Party ;i N i Yi N! N! Ni N: [Y ! Y i, N ! Y i League of Women Voters of California ' Y[Y IN :, N ; Ni Ni i ! Y ', i Harvey MilkLGBTDemocratic-Club [ Y Y ~: :, Y ! N N i Y i Y: Y ! N i Y California Democratic Party Y Y Y N N Y " Y Y N Y California Labor Federation Y Y Y N N Y Y N Y Sierra Club of California Y N N Y Y California Federation of Teachers Y Y Y N N Y N Y Friends Committee on Legislation of California Y Y N N N Y N Y N N California League of Conservation Voters Y Y N N N r League of California Cities Y Y Y N California Teachers' Assn, Y N Y N California Chamber of Commerce Y Y Y Y Y N N N Libertarian Party of Calif N N N N Y Y N N N California Republican Party N N Y Y N N Y N Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Y Y N BRIEF BALLOT PROPOSITION DESCRIPTIONS I Veterans and Affordable Housing Act. Issues $4 billion in bonds for housing programs and veterans' home loans. 2 Homeless Housing Bond. Authorizes state to use revenue from millionaire's tax for $2 billion in bonds for homelessness prevention projects. 3 Water Bond. Issues $8.9 billion in bonds for water-related infrastructure and environmental projects. 4 Children's Hospital Bond. Issues $1,5 billion in bonds for children's hospitals. S Property Tax. Revises process for home buyers who are age 55 or older or severely disabled to transfer their tax assessments. 6 Gas Tax Repeal. Repeals 2017 fuel tax and vehicle fee increases and requires public vote on future increases. 7 Permanent Daylight Savings Time, Authorizes legislature to provide for permanent daylight saving time if federal government allows. 8 Fair Pricing for Dialysis, Requires dialysis clinics to issue refunds for revenue above a certain amount. 10 Rent Control. Allows local governments to regulate rent. 11 Ambulance Employees Safety. Allows ambulance providers to require workers to remain on-call during ~aid breaks, 12 Prevention of Cruelty to Farm Animals. Bans sale of meat from animals confined in spaces smaller than specific size requirements.