From the Daily Triplicate in Crescent City comes this well-sourced and detailed article by Adam Madison about medical marijuana in Del Norte County. Among the article’s more surprising revelations: County supervisors in 2008 ditched a policy allowing medipot users to grow up to 99 plants in a 100-square-foot area. Since then, it’s been up to local law enforcement to determine how much marijuana is “reasonable” to meet a patient’s needs.
Confusion surrounds the use of medical marijuana in states like California that have decriminalized its use, and Del Norte County is no exception.
State guidelines, not laws, address medical marijuana use. Even though local law enforcement agencies say they follow those guidelines, users and top law enforcement officials alike say they wish the issues of growing, distributing and using it were more clear-cut.
And despite the guidelines, there is disagreement between authorities and medical marijuana collectives on such basic issues as whether it’s appropriate for storefronts to operate like other businesses and whether a registration card must be issued by the county in which the medi-pot patient resides….
In June 2008, the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors decided it was up to local police to determine what the reasonable amount of medical marijuana was in individual cases after scrapping a policy that allowed 99 plants in a 100-square-foot area.
“They literally chose not to make a decision and leave it up to local law enforcement. Doing so, they left a lot of people in danger,” said Dante Vitullo, a medical marijuana collective director.
Crescent City Police Chief Doug Plack is also critical of the supervisors’ decision.
“That’s ridiculous,” he said. “You know we’re not doctors. My officers don’t have any formal training as to knowing how much (marijuana) a patient needs.”
The Triplicate reports that local law enforcement and the California Highway Patrol follow the state attorney general’s guidelines, which allow a patient to possess six mature plants, or 12 immature plants, and 8 ounces of processed marijuana.