Supervisors oppose proposition to legalize marijuana

  • 6/15/2010: A1:

    PC: Aimee Polacci, the garden resources manager at Peace through Medicine Healing Center in Sebastopol, CA arranges marijuana plant clones on Monday, June 14, 2010. The medical marijuana dispensory believes contributing to the town budget through taxation increases the acceptance of their patients.

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is against the ballot proposition to legalize marijuana and in favor of raising vehicle license fees to support parks.

Those are just two of the six positions supervisors approved Tuesday as they moved to endorse or reject the nine ballot propositions facing voters in November.

Supervisors took a stand against Proposition 19, which would legalize the cultivation and possession of marijuana.

Officials said the measure could cause problems for county social services that are already stretched dealing with drug and alcohol addiction, plus lead to conflicts with the federal government, which does not recognize state law permitting use of medical marijuana.

"We think this is just going to create more confusion on an already confusing topic," Windsor Police Chief and sheriff-elect Steve Freitas told the board.

Supervisors voted to endorse Proposition 21, which would raise vehicle license fees by $18 and create a dedicated $500 million fund to support operation and expansion of the state parks system.

Sonoma County voters will also be asked to decide a local ballot measure that would raise the vehicle registration fee $10 to provide funding for road improvements, including bike trails and safe routes to schools, and bus transportation.

Representatives from Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods, which promotes state parks in the Russian River area, encouraged support of the state parks initiative, saying it would help with the roughly $1 billion park maintenance backlog and stimulate the local tourism economy.

"If we do have a fiscal rebound, this is where it starts," said Fred Luna, a volunteer with the group.

Supervisor Paul Kelley was the lone dissenting vote on the state parks measure, saying the initiative would hurt taxpayers and is an "unnecessary act to bail out the state legislature" for not providing park funding.

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