Two competing Lake County marijuana ordinances apparently were defeated.
Almost 64 percent of voters opposed Measure O and 68 percent rejected Measure P, with all 70 precincts counted Wednesday morning. Both sought to overturn the county’s existing pot regulations and replace them with more lenient rules.
Measure O proponent Ron Green said he was surprised by the overwhelming defeat.
“I’m kind of in shock,” he said.
Supporters of keeping the existing ordinance were thrilled.
“I’m delighted,” said Monica Rosenthal.
It’s the latest round in Lake County’s ongoing battle over pot regulations. Each time the county has attempted to enact restrictions on marijuana cultivation, pot advocates have challenged the county with referendums, ballot initiatives or lawsuits.
Marijuana advocates have been more successful at obtaining signatures for ballot measures and referendums than in getting them passed.
Voters soundly defeated their last ballot initiative, Measure D, in 2012. In June, 52 percent of voters adopted new restrictions on marijuana, contained in Measure N. The ordinance banned outdoor marijuana gardens in neighborhoods and restricted the size of indoor pot gardens.
Measure O proponents say the county’s regulations are too restrictive and impinge on the rights of medical marijuana patients. The current rules effectively prevent legitimate medical marijuana patients from growing their own pot by prohibiting outdoor growing in neighborhoods, they say.
Measure O would have allowed up to four plants outdoors on any residential lot smaller than an acre and up to 48 plants on parcels of 5 acres or more. The current regulations allow up to 48 plants to be grown on agricultural parcels of 20 acres or more.
Measure P did not set limits, nor did it mention marijuana by name. It would simply legalize the growing of “natural” plants.
Proponents of the existing rules say making them more lenient would increase pot-related crime and nuisances, like odor, and draw additional pot growers to Lake County, already among the state’s top pot-producing areas.
You can reach Staff Writer Glenda Anderson at 462-6473 or firstname.lastname@example.org.