BOARD LOWERS LEGAL LEVELS OF POT
Medicinal users in Ventura County may possess half the amount of dried
weed previously allowed, as supervisors follow state minimums.
Ventura County users of medicinal marijuana can cultivate six mature
plants and keep on hand 8 ounces of dried weed -- half the previous
amount -- the Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday.
The 4-1 vote ends for now board debate on how much marijuana county
law enforcement should allow if it is being used on a doctor's advice.
The new standards follow state guidelines passed by the Legislature
For The Record: Marijuana -- An article in some editions of Wednesday's
California section about medical marijuana guidelines adopted by
Ventura County included an incorrect headline and a reporting error.
The headline stated "Board Lowers Legal Levels of Pot." The article
went on to say that the Board of Supervisors voted to follow state
guidelines that allow medicinal marijuana users to cultivate six
mature plants and 8 ounces of dried marijuana, "half the previous
amount." In fact, the previous amount adopted by local law enforcement
agencies was six mature plants or 16 ounces of dried marijuana. Under
state guidelines, qualified medicinal marijuana users may possess 8
ounces of dried marijuana and six mature or 12 immature plants. This
amount can be increased if a doctor determines that it does not meet a
Supervisor John Flynn was the sole opposing vote, arguing that the
county board should consider adopting higher possession amounts than
the minimums set by state law.
Flynn, backed by two advocates who spoke to the supervisors, said the
six-plant minimum may be too low.
"The pain they suffer, the problems they suffer are immense," Flynn
said. "This is a medical issue; it's not a law enforcement issue."
But the other supervisors agreed that, while not perfect, the state
guidelines had struck a good balance.
The state legislation was adopted with the backing of law enforcement,
medicinal marijuana advocates and the medical community, Supervisor
Judy Mikels said.
"If needs weren't being met, we would have had more people here
today," Mikels said. "And, certainly, we would have had the medical
professionals here telling us if it is not enough."
Sheriff Bob Brooks said his department is not bound by the new
guidelines because they conflict with federal law, which outlaws all
marijuana use. But he said he would abide by them, on a case-by-case
"If you have a situation where you think this is being used as a ruse
to grow marijuana, we would still make an arrest," he said.