EDITOR: If Lake and Sonoma counties are serious about eliminating commercial marijuana grow sites while protecting compassionate use, they could establish a joint-county grow site to meet the medical needs of both counties. Just three well-tended plants can provide three people with five one-gram joints every day for a year.
This supervised site could be in a secure area well away from neighborhoods. Marijuana could be processed and stored in secure facilities, and distribution could be from dispensaries overseen by county public health departments. Users could present their medical cards to receive doctor-approved amounts of marijuana; Medi-Cal already covers some medical marijuana related expenses.
This county-supervised operation would give users confidence they are receiving uncontaminated marijuana, a confidence they don't now have. Further, the counties could then close the many commercial sites in our neighborhoods without infringing on medical rights. Too many of these "medical" sites are really backyard for-profit grows that serve as inducements to home- and neighborhood-invasions and are flash points between neighbors and growers.
This approach offers a degree of county control now missing given the continuing spread of commercial grows in both counties. While the feds may be unhappy, they might come to recognize that county control is better than the free-for-all we have now.
R. TO. GUTHRIE