Marijuana patients petition new rules

Tj Carter

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Astrid Vera, a senior communication sciences and disorders major, signs a petition to overturn new marijuana regulations. Photo credit: Annie Paige

Astrid Vera, a senior communication sciences and disorders major, signs a petition to overturn new marijuana regulations. Photo credit: Annie Paige

Medical marijuana patients are in the process of gathering signatures to overturn new county restrictions on cannabis cultivation.

John Spivey, a volunteer, stood outside of Meriam Library Thursday morning to help gather signatures.

The new regulations will be suspended and included as a local measure in the November general election ballots if petitioners garner 7,600 signatures.

“We are very close, we only need a couple thousand more signatures,” Spivey said.

Cultivation regulations were tightened in response to growers degrading the environment, said Maureen Kirk, a Butte County Supervisor.

The majority of growers come from out of state, Kirk said. In 2013, 62 out of 66 marijuana farms in Butte County were grown by out-of-state residents that purchased medical recommendations to grow for profit.

“They come in during the season, buy some land and then leave behind a mess after the grow season is over,” Kirk said.

There have been more than 20 different hearings regarding medical marijuana in Butte County in only three years, Kirk said.

It’s an ongoing battle between the Board of Supervisors and citizens, Spivey said.

“If they really wanted to regulate the environmental impact from the harsh chemicals, then they would have to stop flying planes as well because of how much they destroy the environment,” Spivey said.

Astrid Vera, a senior communications sciences and disorders major, signed the petition.

“I know people who have gone to jail for marijuana,” Vera said. “I don’t think it’s a big enough deal to go to prison for that.”

Most students walked past the booth with little to no response when asked about signing the petition.

“You have students being students,” Spivey said. “Some of them don’t care about it. Some are rude about the situation.”

TJ Carter can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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