Why I Cannot Vote for Measure A: Letter to the Editor From Eric Kirk

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Cannabis Letter to the Editor 2Dear community,

Six years ago today I and dozens of others worked to present and get passed Measure K.  We had drafted the measure and by now we were feverishly collecting signatures to put the issue on the ballot.   In the end the voters exercised their California Constitution rights and passed the strongest Sanctuary ordinance in the country.

We were in kind of a time crunch.  For a couple of years the sponsoring organization, Centro del Pueblo, had beseeched the Board of Supervisors to take action on the issue, and after being strung along with vague promises, the organization finally decided to move forward without the Board’s help.

That was the basic equation.  The political leadership lacked the will, so the voters acted.

Article 4, section 1 of the California Constitution reads: “The legislative power of this State is vested in the California Legislature which consists of the Senate and Assembly, but the people reserve to themselves the powers of initiative and referendum.” There are a number of other Constitutional provisions in Article 2 which reinforce and define the initiative process, and establish some details of the process.

About half of the states have some sort of referendum or initiative option. Most of the originated with the Progressive Movement (protoliberalism as liberalism is understood today) of the early 20th century. Some are more restricted than others. In a few states, measures can only be put on the ballot by the legislature. Other states explicitly restrict the subject matter of such initiatives. In most referendum states the initiative is seen as a mere matter of delegation arising from the power of the legislature. Other states, including California, take the view that the initiative is a power “reserved by the people” as stated above. This is consistent with the progressive view (and implied during the Enlightenment with such works as the Declaration of Independence) that rights and power are not granted by the government, but rather that government itself arises from the social contract of the people – that the rights and powers of the people are merely recognized by government, not granted. Anything that may be granted is a “privilege” rather than a right.

And as an “original” power, the initiative may vary from, overturn, repeal, or otherwise rewrite anything passed by the normal legislative process. The right and power of the people to this aspect of “direct democracy” means that any measure passed is “presumed valid” and entitled to the benefit of all doubts, and is to be “liberally construed.” There is ample case law which says that courts have a “duty to jealously guard” this reserved power.

Initiatives are a big deal.  Once passed, the resulting laws cannot even be amended without a subsequent popular vote.  They can’t be tweaked by any legislative body to be made more effective (or less harmful in terms of unintended consequences).  Maybe a court will strike all or a portion of it if it’s unconstitutional, but under the law, all doubts are to be resolved in favor of the initiative.

Voters have enormous power in the initiative.  But to quote Aunt May, “great power comes with great responsibility.”  We have to get it right.

This brings me to Measure A, which would establish a very convoluted regulatory structure to the local cannabis industry.  However, I’m not going to go into the details of the problems with the measure itself.  The formal opposition has done an excellent job of deconstructing the measure and all the problems that would probably ensue.  I agree with most of their arguments.  I disagree with a couple.  But I want to focus on why the very idea of such a measure constitutes a problematic misuse of the initiative system.

The initiative system is not intended as a substitute to the process of legislative bodies.  In a democratic republic, the process is supposed to involve proposals made by legislators at the request of their constituents from which a bill is written (we’ve all seen the 1970s Saturday morning cartoon).  From there it goes into a committee or body which is supposed to solicit all of the parties in interest and expertise on the subject matter.  The committee or body then deliberates and produces a new draft considering all the gathered information.  The members of the committee or body debate, and in the case of a legislature it’s passed in committee and sent to “the floor” for final debate and vote.  In theory, all of the different perspectives, interests, issues, and principles are considered for that vote.  And if it fails, it goes back to committee for a rewrite or is abandoned.  And if it passes and the law is ineffective, inadequate, or harmful, it can be amended or even repealed by the same process.

The process is rarely clean and tidy, but it does present the best possibility at arriving at a law which will at least partially address everybody’s concerns.

This is especially essential when a regulatory scheme for an industry is proposed.  When an initiative is introduced without broad community input, at best the outcome is that only the concerns of one perspective or set of interests is represented.  Worse, an initiative can lock in a completely unworkable framework which fails to accomplish the intended goals and essentially destroys or severely damages the industry.

Like the proponents of Measure A, I have concerns about overuse of rural water; light and sound pollution; impact on roads; environmental impacts and much of what is listed in the measures “findings.”  But the measure is 32 pages long, not including the exhibit.  And if passed, everything about it will be locked in absent a subsequent measure to amend it.  We then have to wait for an election and in the meantime the ordinance may wreak havoc on the community.

A ballot measure should not be so long and intricate.  Ideally, the material provisions, excluding the findings, preamble, definitions, and boilerplate provisions, should be contained in one or two pages.  If the measure requires specificity in implementation, maybe four or five pages are appropriate.  It should be easy to understand.  It should be clear as to how it is going to work.  Nobody is going to read the thing and there are so many components it will be impossible for most voters to comprehensively understand it.  I am not even certain of a few of the potential effects, and I’m an attorney who reads and interprets ballot measures in their entirety on a regular basis.

I intend to vote “no” on Measure A because it is too complex and convoluted for a voter initiative.  I urge you to do the same.

Eric V. Kirk

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88 Comments
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A is for a**hole
Guest
A is for a**hole
14 days ago

I read all 42 pages of measure A in about an hour. It wasn’t hard to understand nor was it overly draconian as far as regulations can be.

To this point the regulations have been murky and confusing. At least measure A is in plain text anyone can read. Not being able to easily change the rules after it passes is one of the selling points that opponents don’t like.

Vote yes on A.

fndrbndr
Member
13 days ago

I’m very glad you read through it. Now can you explain to me how it was written to ” Help the small farmers”? This is the claim in their opening statement. I cannot find anything in the body that helps.

A is for a**hole
Guest
A is for a**hole
13 days ago
Reply to  fndrbndr

Why yes of course, but first we need to agree on what a small farmer is. Can you please define what a small farmer is in your mind?

In my mind every permit holders in Humboldt a small farmer.

fndrbndr
Member
13 days ago

I feel the same. Everyone in Humboldt is basically tiny. The proponents think small shall not exceed 10k sqft. While they do not define canopy they instead use cultivation area which under state and county law means every area associated with the permit. I have a permit for 13k sqft, but the proponents would argue ( if you referenced Measure A) I cultivate 2 acres. I hope you understand Measure A doesn’t even correlate with existing law

Lost Croat OutburstD
Member
Lost Croat Outburst
13 days ago

An hour? It took an hour to read Measure A? Then no way on “A”. I guess Ms. Watson and Mr. Thurmond got their money’s worth from that hotshot San Francisco law firm. Yeah, let’s vote to regulate ourselves even further into oblivion. Yeah, YEAH! A? No Way! Nay on “A”.

A is for a**hole
Guest
A is for a**hole
13 days ago

It’s not my fault if you can’t read good.

Water
Guest
Water
13 days ago

That hotshot law firm – you mean Kevin Bundy, environmental lawyer and Eco-warrior, who previously worked for EPIC to defend against rapacious timber companies?

Ed Voice
Guest
Ed Voice
13 days ago

“I have concerns about overuse of rural water; light and sound pollution; impact on roads; environmental impacts”

If that statement is true Eric, why did you, while on the SoHum Park Board submit a 862 page CEQA EIR general plan amendment to rezone the SHCP for; overuse of rural water, light and sound pollution, impact roads and environmental impacts? Did you think the general public was going to read all that and only have 30 days to make public comments?

In other words you are asking the public to do as you say, not as you do, right? You lost me at “I’m an attorney”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=377VhCOtoDA

Eric Kirk
Guest
Eric Kirk
13 days ago
Reply to  Ed Voice

Ed, we bent over backwards on behalf of the environment there, and there is no light pollution or sound pollution by any reasonable definition. Instead of picking on the Park because of an obsession with a certain individual, why don’t you pick on the oil refiners in Richmond? They pollute more in a day then the Park will pollute in the next thousand years.

Ed Voice
Guest
Ed Voice
13 days ago
Reply to  Eric Kirk

Just like an attorney, when you cannot answer a direct question you change the subject matter to “oil refiners in Richmond”?

How about that 1500 yards of protected wetlands down at the Park they dug up without permits and have USACE, CDFW and County Code Enforcement issuing Stop Work and Cease and Desist orders. Guess that little detail slipped your mind?

Red-Herring-Politician-1024x576
Eric Kirk
Guest
Eric Kirk
13 days ago
Reply to  Ed Voice

I have no idea what you’re talking about. I haven’t been on the Board for years. However, given your history I’m fairly certain that you’re exaggerating the significance of the incident.

Ed Voice
Guest
Ed Voice
13 days ago
Reply to  Eric Kirk

Then that would explain why you are listed on the Park Board and Staff website page and as “Agent for Service of Process” for the Park:

https://www.sohumpark.org/about/board-and-staff/

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-SxZ3weZ-eHGsFSo8hHDtNOT4UWpJNTg/view?usp=sharing

fndrbndr
Member
13 days ago
Reply to  Ed Voice

You may have made a mistake. On the website he is listed as director emeritus.

(of the former holder of an office, especially a college professor) having retired but allowed to retain their title as an honor.

Your secretary of state filing is from 2021

Last edited 13 days ago
Eric Kirk
Guest
Eric Kirk
13 days ago
Reply to  Ed Voice

Apparently you don’t understand the emeritus concept. Maybe you should google things before posting.

Ed Voice
Guest
Ed Voice
13 days ago
Reply to  Eric Kirk

According to the amended Park by-laws:

“A Director Emeritus shall have the right to attend and to speak at Board meetings, and shall be eligible to stand in consideration for appointment to any Board Position. Director Emeritus shall have all the privileges of a director, such as committee membership and attendance at meetings, except that Director Emeritus shall not have any voting rights.”

And you are still the “Agent for Service of Process” for the Park, right?

Last edited 13 days ago
Eric Kirk
Guest
Eric Kirk
13 days ago
Reply to  Ed Voice

Yeah, again, I don’t think you get the concept.

And yes, I am the agent for process. Do you know what that means?

The problem Ed is that you’re obsessed, and you have very limited knowledge of the world because you don’t get out of your mother’s basement much. You thrive on your anger and your vendetta, even though you no longer live here because you have nothing else. And so you attack people who volunteer large portions of their lives to make something beautiful for the community. It’s sad Ed, and it would be your own business if you didn’t threaten people and attempt to make life miserable for them.

Ed Voice
Guest
Ed Voice
13 days ago
Reply to  Eric Kirk

Well, when you say it like that, its ‘kind of scary’, you should write more often, you have a gift…

I like stars
Guest
I like stars
13 days ago
Reply to  Eric Kirk

Nice whataboutism!

Jocelyn Febreezy
Guest
Jocelyn Febreezy
13 days ago
Reply to  I like stars

It sounds like they were developing a park near a town. It’s not going to be a wilderness area. High pitched screaming any time a blade of grass gets cut is myopic when you zoom out and see the TOWN, GAS STATIONS, FREEWAY, etc. The park occupies maybe a fraction of a percent of the Eel river bank. The park doesn’t sound like a disaster.

Eric Kirk
Guest
Eric Kirk
13 days ago

It’s a beautiful community asset. If you’re in Garberville, you should pay it a visit.

Ed Voice
Guest
Ed Voice
13 days ago
Reply to  Eric Kirk

You’re right Eric, it is beautiful, without the Park Board being able to develop the Park into a concert/festival venue site or an over the top sports complex that would suck the river dry from watering grass. And its not a “community asset”, because its a privately owned Park on private property and the Park Board of Directors does not like to share information with the community or have their board meeting open to the public. You have GSD water now, hope it was worth it…

Eric Kirk
Guest
Eric Kirk
13 days ago
Reply to  Ed Voice

That actually was not my idea. A much younger Board decided to do that. I would have stuck to the original plan. But either way, the Park has water and that’s a good thing.

Ed Voice
Guest
Ed Voice
12 days ago
Reply to  Eric Kirk

And what was the “original plan” for the Park Eric, Apartments, housing?

So the Park Rezoning EIR Cost $475K:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/176XLwBuE-ZYh23sFHSFnYynFD-bPADA6/view?usp=sharing

And to get water from GSD cost the Park Board over $30K to petition the Water Board and do another CEQA IS/MND with Humboldt LAFCo. Which does not included all the new waterpipe and trenching to install it. On top of what its going to cost the Park Board in fines and penalties, since you did not get permits or approval to install the new water piping thru a protected wetland area in the Park:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZOmf3zYBcZbIm7YxmBGpLoSqH2ON6IjO/view?usp=sharing

I especially like how the Park Board installed this waterpipe thru a protected seasonal creek with 50 foot setbacks, in a Streamside Management Area…

P7210224
Lost Croat OutburstD
Member
Lost Croat Outburst
13 days ago

It’s a pleasure to agree with Mr. Kirk since we often inhabit different corners of the same pasture. It’s ironic that California over-regulation may yet destroy our legal industry, something that over a decade of military-style raids could not do during prohibition.
I attended one of the public meetings when the State team came around to get input from industry stalwarts. All the right things were said about the differences between cannabis and alcohol and other drugs and how we didn’t need onerous, punitive, labyrinthine, Byzantine regulations. But that’s what we got. Public testimony be damned.
Not long ago, I received a bottle of Vodka that I ordered from a local producer. Had my ID, no problem. Delivered to our door.
At the Bayside Golf and Country Club public hearing, Betsy Watson assured us that they were not targeting dispensaries, just farmers. That’s a relief! Dispensaries won’t have any product or it will be even more prohibitively expensive. Wow. Mission accomplished.

Nay on “A”! Don’t let red States like Oklahoma beat us at our own game.

Eric Kirk
Guest
Eric Kirk
13 days ago

To be clear, I don’t necessarily oppose regulation. But I oppose one arbitrary interest determining the regulation at everyone else’s expense.

Lost Croat OutburstD
Member
Lost Croat Outburst
13 days ago
Reply to  Eric Kirk

I assumed that was your opinion. Mine, too. I don’t see why cannabis farmers live under a double standard of water useage and safe farming practices. The prejudice and bias is built in to the “system”. Nobody wants to drain a creek growing tomatoes or corn and nobody wants poisoned food or medicine. It’s that simple. But layer on the weed regs ‘cause, I mean, you know . . . . .what? What do we know? That cannabis is radioactive? What is the big deal?

fndrbndr
Member
13 days ago

Most of the proponents rely on the rhetoric from reefer madness. ” It’s the devil’s lettuce”.

Jocelyn Febreezy
Guest
Jocelyn Febreezy
13 days ago

Bayside Golf and Country Club.

Jeez, measure A might have had a little more juice if they tried a few meetings in places like Bridgeville, Willow Creek, Whithorn, Mattole Grange…
If I was assisting the YES on A folks, I would have tried to get 20-30 weed farms on board to endorse the measure. I don’t think they discovered anything in their scoping sessions. If you start with incorrect assumptions, you get goofy policy.

Bill
Guest
Bill
13 days ago

Your own game is not your own, or a game, anymore.
Capitalism is the game, (il)legal status was the price support, and changing the status changed the game to business as usual. Babylon makes the rules.

Jerry Latsko
Guest
Jerry Latsko
13 days ago

Erik, that is about as lame a justification that I can imagine. At least it is not dishonest. When elected officials and appointed bureaucrats fail to serve the citizenry, the initiative process is all people have left.

fndrbndr
Member
13 days ago
Reply to  Jerry Latsko

As long as that process is transparent and inclusive.

Eric Kirk
Guest
Eric Kirk
13 days ago
Reply to  Jerry Latsko

But Jerry, look what is happening. The measure is probably going down in flames because the advocates did not solicit public input.

Gosh
Guest
Gosh
13 days ago
Reply to  Eric Kirk

Exactly.

crisP
Guest
crisP
13 days ago
Reply to  Eric Kirk

How do you sleep at night ?

Jocelyn Febreezy
Guest
Jocelyn Febreezy
13 days ago
Reply to  crisP

By lying down and shutting his eyes? Just a wild guess.
See, this comment sort of hints that something dark and vast is going on. This hyperbolic emotion points to an exaggerated misunderstanding of what legal weed looks like out there. Eric is doing something unconscionable? What do you think A will do if it passes? It just wastes an extra couple days of sideways busy work for people already regulated tighter than any equivalent non-weed activity.

Eric Kirk
Guest
Eric Kirk
13 days ago
Reply to  crisP

Given that I work hard all day, it’s not so hard.

Jocelyn Febreezy
Guest
Jocelyn Febreezy
13 days ago
Reply to  Jerry Latsko

How to “serve the citizenry” is up for debate. Measure A is saturated with the prejudice that weed is BAD, and therefore every way it is produced is bad. That is why there is so much “What-about-ism” in the rebuttal arguments against A. Our socialization says weed is bad, but growing goats, or oats: sacrosanct, even with the same impacts. These assumptions are there because many people, perhaps a majority of Humboldt voters don’t actually live in any real conflict with marijuana grows. The support for A depends on an incorrect assumption that MOST weed is grown in an unregulated, environmentally harmful way, somehow vastly more destructive than “traditional” agriculture. Hemp cannabis production
wasn’t discontinued because of any inherent danger, it was because coal, and oil replaced sails for motive force, and polyester, and rayon for fiber.

Paul Modic
Guest
Paul Modic
13 days ago

Yes, I agree that thirty-two pages sounds too long for a ballot measure, and I was also wondering earlier today how a citizens’ initiative was allowed to try to transform an industry by changing all their rules. But about those thirty-two pages: how many pages of county policy are those pages attempting to replace? Thirty-one, thirty-three, forty, one hundred, two hundred? And do you know if those thirty-two pages would be better than the existing, let’s say, one hundred pages of rules and regulations? I don’t know, does anyone?
I am not for or against Measure A, as it’s not my fight, but when I see the establishment and local elite piling on against it, that (at the risk of getting too deep into the weed) reminds me of Saddam, Iraq, and WMDs. Remember when we were told that “everybody knows” that Saddam has WMDs, even our secretary of state? So if “everyone knew,” why did I, a nobody, think that he didn’t, precisely because of all the piling on, which seemed suspicious.

fndrbndr
Member
13 days ago
Reply to  Paul Modic

If you reside in this county it actually is your fight.

The county wrote ordinance 1.0 with everyone’s involvement that’s listed as supporting the no on A campaign.

1.0 managed to eradicate 90% of non permitted farms. Although I don’t agree that everyone eradicated was acceptable. I do think a majority was needed to correct environmental issues.

2.0 was written in with the same stakeholders. It made certain provisions even more strict.

1.0 and 2.0 are evolving documents. Measure A has no provision to amend. Our constitution is amendable. Our forefathers had the intelligence and foresight to understand the will of the people will change with time.

Never in our local history have we seen the unprecedented coalition against or for any initiative. I think most understand this will be bad for the entire county.

Please, with your heart and mind.
Vote no on Measure A

Paul Modic
Guest
Paul Modic
13 days ago
Reply to  fndrbndr

“this will be bad for the entire county.”
Can you state one fact, one reason, why a ballot measure which affects less than 1% of the county’s population, would be bad for the entire county?
And also why would you say “most understand this will be bad for the county”?
Have you done a survey, just guessin’?
(Most people I know don’t care, either way)
Can you say why someone who doesn’t care about this measure, isn’t in the weed biz, or doesn’t have an annoying grow nearby, will be affected.

fndrbndr
Member
13 days ago
Reply to  Paul Modic

1 fact for you to ponder. Litigation in the court system will use taxes paid to the general fund by every citizen in the county.

fndrbndr
Member
13 days ago
Reply to  Ed Voice

Bingo! Thanks for the verification.

Water
Guest
Water
13 days ago
Reply to  fndrbndr

Verification of what? The judge shot down the grower’s attempt to get the measure off the ballot. That frivolous lawsuit cost taxpayers.
You say there will be litigation. On what grounds?

fndrbndr
Member
12 days ago
Reply to  Water

Thanks for another verification. Please take the time to read the counties amended analysis of your initiative. We all answer to the county, not a group of vindictive NIMBYS.

Jocelyn Febreezy
Guest
Jocelyn Febreezy
13 days ago
Reply to  Paul Modic

Weed affects far more than 1%of our population. Many more than 1% directly grow weed. Many of them used weed money to finance other businesses. Restaurants, remodeled rentals, mechanic shops, car dealerships. Weed money was spent at ALL Humboldt businesses, from nail salons to machine shops. This was imported money made on sweat, personal investment, and initiative, spread out in an egalitarian rural lifestyle unheard of since Jefferson’s day dreams.
Check your urbane myopia at the door.
I would recommend a drive outside of the Broadway/Central avenue/101. There are roads that take you through the REST of Humboldt County. See it. People live there. Compare services they receive. Compare weed’s contribution to the County in fees and taxes with the return in rural services.

Justanotherperson
Guest
Justanotherperson
12 days ago

I dont know how anyone can argue otherwise. I mean, i do, but its not a good faith argument in any way

Thatguyinarcata
Guest
Thatguyinarcata
13 days ago
Reply to  Paul Modic

Cannabis remains an important economic driver in our county. And it has a lot of future potential to become a more important piece once again.

Measure A will drastically reduce its current impact and stifle any future impact. Our county needs a more diverse economic base then just relying on government and hsu.

B Honest
Guest
B Honest
13 days ago
Reply to  Paul Modic

Name an industry inside Humboldt County that paid $55 million in taxes over 5 years?

The county would lose out on future revenues for roads, emergency personnel and more.

Paul Modic
Guest
Paul Modic
13 days ago
Reply to  fndrbndr

Okay, one more, why is it MY fight?
(Don’t you know most people just want to live their little lives and be left alone?)

fndrbndr
Member
13 days ago
Reply to  Paul Modic

My last post explains that. If you don’t live here you are correct. If you do, I guess you’re fine with spending your taxes on litigation.

Paul Modic
Guest
Paul Modic
13 days ago
Reply to  fndrbndr

Well, you definitely don’t want to get into litigation, like they say during child custody battles: you keep paying the lawyers until the money runs out, then you settle.

Jocelyn Febreezy
Guest
Jocelyn Febreezy
13 days ago
Reply to  Paul Modic

Because, as a wise man once said, “…most people just want to live their little lives and be left alone”
Some people just want to speak to your manager.

Water
Guest
Water
13 days ago
Reply to  fndrbndr

Oh the DRAMA! Measure A could never be changed. NEVER! Really, all it would take is another initiative, which could be written in a few weeks. The county did just that – wrote a competing initiative in 3 weeks, including hearings. They never tried to get the required signatures to put it on the ballot.
The Constitution is not very easy to amend. Here is what it takes – easy peasy, right?
An amendment may be proposed by a two-thirds vote of both Houses of Congress, or, if two-thirds of the States request one, by a convention called for that purpose. The amendment must then be ratified by three-fourths of the State legislatures, or three-fourths of conventions called in each State for ratification.

Paul Modic
Guest
Paul Modic
13 days ago
Reply to  Water

The county doesn’t need signatures to put something on the ballot, fyi

Humboldt
Member
Humboldt
13 days ago

Thank you, Eric.
My sentiments, exactly.

It is complex.

My response to the measure was not that it did not hold merit, but, just as you described, it is far too complex, and binding, to be left to the general populous, most of whom would have never read the measure, nor know the instilled ramifications, and vote, instead, based on campaign jargon.

Well said.

Thank you for voicing your well stated concern.

Gosh
Guest
Gosh
13 days ago
Reply to  Humboldt

Jury nullification …
Learn it.
Live it.
Do it (when warranted).
❤️🤍💙

Water
Guest
Water
13 days ago
Reply to  Humboldt

Please see my previous comment where I provide all the changes to the county codes – in one page. What part do you find complex? Apparently you are among those who have not read the initiative.
Why should the citizens of this county, the general populous, not have a say in our laws? Should that be left to the special interests, i.e. cannabis growers?

Natalynne
Guest
Natalynne
12 days ago
Reply to  Water

Diane, you’re being disingenuous. You had just as much of a right and opportunity to participate in developing the cannabis land-use ordinances, but you did not. The citizens of this county did show up. They’re called the tribes, environmental organizations, state resource agencies, cities such as Fortuna and Arcata, the general public, and the farmers. Part of the reason your camp is getting so much pushback is because your group thought writing something with zero public review and then sending it to the Elections Office, at which time, it can never be changed, and THEN going and shopping it around for endorsements was good enough. There is a reason why the environmental organizations are not lining up to put their stamp of approval on this document. There is a reason why there is an overwhelming opposition to this initiative. Stop trying to shove something down the public’s throat “just because you think it is good for them.”

Water
Guest
Water
12 days ago
Reply to  Natalynne

Measure A was written after extensive input from public officials, planning Director, planning commissioners, the public, including all public comments made for the DEIR,, individual growers, water board staff and biologists, CDFW staff and biologists, bird biologists, water quality scientists, labrabory scientists, water quality experts, the scientific literature, CEQA documents and experts, forester, hydrology publications, UC Berkeley researchers, local hydrology papers, and risk assessment experts. Public input was obtained from public documents and hearings, personal interviews and media. The input was extensive, covering more public input than was received for creation of both ordinances combined. Further validation was obtained through the petition process involving well over 10,000 people.
The Growers Alliance was contacted and said they were too busy fighting taxes to participate

fndrbndr
Member
12 days ago
Reply to  Water

Please list their names. Furthermore why aren’t they all on your list of supporters?

Thatguyinarcata
Guest
Thatguyinarcata
12 days ago
Reply to  Water

The flagrant dishonesty from your camp is apalling.

Squares Foot
Guest
Squares Foot
13 days ago

Voters shouldn’t rigidly define the process of county-level cannabis permitting in a single document created by just a few individuals. Instead, local government should continually shape how cannabis permitting is managed at the county level, ensuring it aligns effectively with the broader state licensing framework.

The current permitting system, where Humboldt County permits based on cultivation acreage and the state on the square footage of flowering canopy, is already problematic. This proposed initiative would exacerbate these problems.

This initiative proposes three local permit types that are not aligned with their state counterparts. It sets a cap of 10,000 square feet for outdoor, tier-1 mixed-light, and nursery cultivation areas. In contrast, the state issues licenses for 10,000 square feet for both outdoor and tier-1 mixed-light flowering canopies, and no specified size for nursery flowering canopies. Particularly, the state’s nursery license doesn’t have a size restriction because flowering within a nursery is intended solely for research and development, not commercial production. The state recognizes the distinction between various types of cannabis businesses, a nuance that the creators of this initiative seem to overlook.

Moreover, this initiative would limit cultivators to 10,000 square feet per permit, meaning a state license holder in Humboldt County couldn’t fully use their paid-for canopy area unless they allocated their entire permit to flowering. In many cases, this would result in state licensees paying for space they cannot use due to local restrictions.

I concur with the author’s viewpoint that utilizing the initiative process for this purpose is not advisable. Our local government has already established a permitting system that doesn’t align well with state licensing. This proposed initiative only serves to heighten this inconsistency. If it were to pass, any future changes in the state’s licensing framework would necessitate a new initiative and public vote in Humboldt County to adjust our local permitting rules accordingly. This would be a cumbersome and inefficient process, requiring constant revisions and public votes to keep our local regulations in sync with state laws. The prospect of repeatedly needing public votes for such modifications is a problematic scenario for our community.

Jeffersonian
Guest
Jeffersonian
13 days ago

Well the legislaters,supervisors and planners are incapable of drafting appropriate regulations so what other option is left.

B Honest
Guest
B Honest
13 days ago
Reply to  Jeffersonian

Vote for a new supervisor.

Paul Modic
Guest
Paul Modic
13 days ago
Reply to  B Honest

Yeah, but not you, only because you’re a weed -grower so wouldn’t be able to vote on weed issues, great. plus you’re a dreamer with your billion dollar dreams of Humboldt name value…but go for it, you seem reasonably intelligent, for some reason public service representatives like the supes seems to be mostly people with below average intelligence…I’d vote for Eric Kirk (probable genius) any day, and hmm, maybe some day Eric will say to himself, “Ya know, I think I’d like to be really really bored, I’m gonna run for Supe!”

B Honest
Guest
B Honest
13 days ago
Reply to  Paul Modic

Paul you are mistaken.
A supervisor could vote on measure S if they have a legal farm.

What they have to do is reduce it to zero cultivation for the year.

The vote on measure S can not be changed permanently by the board. A voter initiative is the only way to change measure S.

The board simply votes on the % it will take of the $1,$2 and $3.

If your farm is closed with the county and state then there is zero conflict of interest because you are not paying taxes that year.

I have already publicly stated that I will rest my farm if I am elected.
That way I am legally allowed to vote on measure S.

Paul Modic
Guest
Paul Modic
13 days ago
Reply to  B Honest

Even if you could vote on weed issues you would be biased,
but I’m burying the lede here as you won’t be elected, however
your entry on the ballot, if you are on it, will almost guarantee a
runoff in November, and this lady in Fortuna, do you know anything about
her?
She just did something unprecedented in the Second District (So Hum)
and maybe in the whole county: she just sent out an attack ad against Bushnell, wow, that’s a new one for us friendly yokels, unless I’m mistaken.
I haven’t checked it closely for accuracy but it makes me interested in who she is.
Wow, she really wants it, has the money, and so it should be a good campaign.
An attack Ad in SoHum? Reminds me of my one-time radio rant against Estelle four years ago.
Here is is, just for fun, the most vicious one ever, I hope, in Sohum, though it wasn’t an ad, just part of my radio rant on Thank Jah:
“If you like Humboldt’s award-winning spy satellite watching you in your backyard vote for Estelle! If you like Estelle sending her enforcer John Ford to bulldoze your greenhouse vote four more years! Keep safe with Estelle, she’s always watching and will abate you for thousands of dollars, take your land, and ruin your life if you don’t behave.
Estelle, Bass, and Bone, the team that has it under control! This board of supes has done more to increase government surveillance of our community than any other!
Thank you Estelle!”

B Honest
Guest
B Honest
13 days ago
Reply to  Paul Modic

Why would you assume i would be biased when voting for measure S.

I don’t assume anything about you.

Why wouldn’t you ask my position on measure S?

I have met Jeanna and I found her to be very nice at the candidate forum on Keet Tv and so was Michelle.

The three of us all want the best for District 2. Otherwise we wouldn’t be running.

B Honest
Guest
B Honest
13 days ago
Reply to  Paul Modic

Just for the sake of it.

You are ok with Michelle owning several cultivation permits but I would have a conflict of interest?

You are aware Michelle steps out of the chamber when we talk about measure S.

She also motioned and brought up the competing measure against A.

Thankfully that failed because she wanted to place a cap on all future permits.

Isn’t that a conflict of interest based on her owning several permitted farms?

I do not support a cap on permits the EIR done in 2016 outlined what our watershed could handle.

We paid Pat Dominguez a full salary + benefits and her attorney fees for a supposedly guilty person

B Honest
Guest
B Honest
13 days ago
Reply to  Paul Modic

Do you travel much?
I lived in Amsterdam and opened a shop there. Surprisingly Humboldt clothes sold exceptionally well overseas.

Japanese use to love to come to my shop in LA and they new exactly what and where Humboldt was.

Humboldt is known around the world for high quality cannabis.

My friend (pen name) Dan Skye was editor of High Times for many years. We use to joke how shwaggy cannabis was until Humboldt changed the entire game.

1979 poster of weed was all sticks and stems loaded with seeds.

Humboldt changed all of that during the 80’s

You can thank those hippies that flew to Afghanistan and brought back Indica.

I own a 5,000 sq ft museum dedicated to hemp.

It was left to me by Richard M.Davis who started collecting artifacts back on the 1970’s when he moved to Spy Rock in laytonville.

Humboldt has an enormous name recognition, isn’t that why a majority of farms use the name Humboldt in there brand.

Water
Guest
Water
13 days ago

Here are the changes to the county code taken from the initiative. The relevant text fits on one page. The rest of the initiative is Purpose and Findings, Goals and Policies, and boiler-plate language, repeated six times, that incorporates the changes into the six coastal plans. Is this really so hard to understand?

GENERAL PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO COMMERCIAL CANNABIS ACTIVITY
LAND USE PERMITS is amended to add:
No waiver of public hearings. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of the Humboldt County Code, including but not limited to Section 312-9.2, a public hearing on an application for a special permit, use permit, or coastal development permit for commercial cannabis cultivation shall not be waived.
 
LAND USE AND DEVELOPMENT CAP ON PERMITS is amended as follows:
In each Coastal Planning Area the cap on the total number of permits granted for commercial cannabis cultivation shall be 1.05 times the total number of existing approved, unexpired permits for Open Air Cultivation (including Outdoor and Mixed-Light Cultivation and Nurseries)  and Indoor Cultivation within that Coastal Planning Area as of March
 
the cap on the total permitted acreage of cultivation area shall be 1.05 times the total permitted acreage of cultivation area approved by the County under existing approved, unexpired permits

any new applications for commercial cannabis cultivation activities within that Coastal Planning Area shall be placed in a queue and shall not be further considered or processed until such time as the total number as the total number of approved permits and the total acreage of cultivation both fall below the applicable caps for that Coastal Planning
Area.

the County may continue to process, and may approve, applications for permits for commercial cannabis cultivation that the County determines were complete on or before
March 4r2022,

the County may renew a previously approved permit for commercial cannabis cultivation, provided that all applicable state and local requirements for permit renewal are satisfied.
The Board of Supervisors may’ by resolution and without a vote of the people, reduce the caps on permits and acres established pursuant to Sections 313-55.4.6.8.1 and 313-55.4.6.8.2. This Section 313-55.4.6.8 may not otherwise be amended unless approved by a vote of the people.

the County shall publish and make available the caps on permits and acres
 
PERFORMANCE STANDARD _ ROAD SYSTEMS: STANDARD 2 – FUNCTIONAL
CAPACITY is amended as follows: all road systems meet or exceed the Category 4
standard must be verified by a report prepared by a licensed engineer.
on-site, in-person

TERM OF COMMERCIAL CANNABIS ACTIVITY CLEARANCE OR PERMIT is amended as follows: on-site, in-person
 
GENERAL PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO COMMERCIAL CANNABIS ACTIVITY LAND USE PERMITS is amended to add:
No waiver of public hearings. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of the Humboldt County Code, including but not limited to Section 312-9.2, a public hearing on an application for a special permit or use permit for commercial cannabis cultivation shall not be waived.
 
FORBEARANCE PERIOD AND STORAGE REQUIREMENTS
is amended as follows: operators of cannabis cultivation site(s) shall forbear from diversions of surface water for irrigation between March 1 and November 15,  and during periods of low or reduced stream flows

Jocelyn Febreezy
Guest
Jocelyn Febreezy
13 days ago
Reply to  Water

Who gets their hearings waived? Maybe I got piled on because I came out early. I had to spend all day going to a five minute hearing for an under-9,000 ft grow on a small portion of a 25 year old active farm.
Why move the period of forbearance back, excluding March? This is just a silly make-it-difficult punishment. March is one of our rainier months. Is there any evidence of low flows being common in March? Moving it back to December 15 would have been more practical. November is actually a low flow month. March feels a little more punitive, given that it’s rainier. I think excluding another month was pretty much all they could do to claim “protecting water”. Recognize that almost all of urban Humboldt is on Mad River water. Humboldt Bay receives the LEAST rainfall in the County, some years only a quarter of what might fall in Southern Humboldt. March withdrawals do NOTHING to reduce flows in July.
These little details are why there are virtually no actual weed growers supporting Measure A. People with the smallest amount of experience recognize the disconnect.

Water
Guest
Water
13 days ago

Eric, the opposition has done NOTHING to deconstruct the measure. Many of them have never read the measure. The county planning dept, in consultation with the Growers Alliance, wrote a misleading and erroneous analysis. You will find corrections to that analysis here.

https://cannabisinitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/HCRI-Response-to-County-Analysis-4-20-23-1.pdf

Eric Kirk
Guest
Eric Kirk
13 days ago
Reply to  Water

If you hit the link I provided, you will find plenty of deconstruction.

Thatguyinarcata
Guest
Thatguyinarcata
13 days ago
Reply to  Water

That is just dishonest. There has been extensive and specific criticism of the initiative.

It is poorly written, unless the intention is to end commercial cannabis cultivation that isn’t on municipal water near the bay and cost humboldt tax payers money

fndrbndr
Member
12 days ago
Reply to  Water

Thank you. I took the time to validate your claims. No where in the amended analysis does it refer to any collaboration with HCGA. Hopefully you can read it and realize you are wrong.

6513267a412c58024465cd03_Amended County Analysis HCRI 6_27_23 (1).pdf

Country Joe
Member
13 days ago

Government intervention has destroyed a once thriving industry.

Thatguyinarcata
Guest
Thatguyinarcata
12 days ago
Reply to  Country Joe

Well mostly it was the end of violent government intervention that destroyed the local industry

Ken Miller
Guest
Ken Miller
12 days ago

Sorry to bring the legislative process into the land of reality, rather than Erik’s fantasia. The current cannabis ordinances, especially 2.0, ignored the major critical inputs that called for analyzing the carrying capacities of the watersheds BEFORE allocating grow sites arbitrarily to them, as was done. Policymakers also ignored complaints about size of grows, notification of neighbors, restricting permits to one per person and prevent “stacking” to minimize chances for mega-grows and inflationary land speculation, well connectivity, generators. Only about 200 people and agencies participated, and finally the Supervisors had to resort to “Overriding Economic Concerns” to pass the EIR, because significant impacts could not be mitigated. Adding insult has been the failure of the Supervisors and Planning Dept to hold the mandated annual hearings that were to have evaluated the cumulative impacts in each watershed, with the assistance of the Agencies, to refine numbers and size. Never happened-in 6 years! So Erik would have us ignore the central premises of Measure A: limit cultivation permits to about 1000, eliminating an additional 2500 that could be approved under 2.0; and capping the size of new grows to 10,000sq ft., meeting the state’s definition of small. Those new permits would have to be sungrown, thereby aspiring towards terroir: sungrown in native soils. Can our watersheds and neighbors withstand another 2500 industrial grows because Erik prefers legislation that isn’t happening? Measure A’s premises are contained in the first 9 pages, the rest amplifies and defines.

fndrbndr
Member
12 days ago
Reply to  Ken Miller

So glad you are here today KEN.
If I might start the conversation with a question. How can you a doctor who relies on thousands of dollars collected from the citizens of our county in connection to the very plant and farmers you aim to defeat explain your hypocrisy?

In an answer to your outrageous claims first I’ll start with, Measure A does nothing for the small farms but destroy them. Policy makers listened to concerns about grow size, maybe except one Melanie McArvour who voted to give rolling meadows a permit. If I remember correctly 1900 people signed a petition in opposition, but ultimately she didn’t care.

Neighbors are notified, albeit maybe not to your standard but it’s also common knowledge that the information is available at the planning department and in news articles. Maybe if you befriended everyone in your neighborhood they would inform you.

Nothing will ever prevent ‘Stacking”. If you know anything about Corporate America a Conglomerate could easily step in and have multiple LLC’s each with it’s own owner.

A hydrological study is already mandated by the county, if said well is used for cannabis cultivation. No other business is required to do so.

Above 50 horsepower generators have also been addressed, they are to be phased out by 2025. That said there is no restrictions on how many 50 horse generators a farm can have. You should have thought of this as your initiative is a mouth full of gums in respect to this.

The county also filed a “Negative Declaration” concerning the EIR and CEQA. Take a trip to the planning department the CEQA binders are there for everyone to read.

Mandated hearings are held every month for the BOS and Planning Commission. You can comment at every meeting.

UC Berkeley just came out with a study analyzing watersheds in connection to cannabis. It was found that the cumulative water usage was less than one percent. You should probably shoot your arrows at an industry that would correlate with your argument. Even if the remaining 2500 scope of legal farms were to be permitted the water usage would be less than 3 percent. So please look elsewhere, cannabis as an industry uses the least amount of water.

If you are concerned about the size of farms it would make sense to start at the state level. They are the ones who removed the one acre cap on hour 11:59 of prop 64.

And one last thing, remember your history and land use practices… everyone is watching.

Have a great day and vote NO ON MEASURE A!

justsayin
Guest
justsayin
12 days ago

California’s version of the referendum process is very simply pure democracy (mob rule) which the constitution was written to prevent. Corporate news and progressive politicians talking constantly about our democracy doesn’t change the truth that we are not, and were never intended to be a democracy. We are a representative republic, or representative democracy, whichever you choose.

Water
Guest
Water
12 days ago

HCGA’s attorney’s June 26 letter is illuminating. Some quotes:

“The Board of Supervisors should be confident that they are doing their job properly, and HCGA encourages them to continue doing so…The Bundy Letter and its predecessor assert that there are errors, but HCGA provided specific rebuttals demonstrating the veracity of the Analysis.”

If the county wrote the analysis on their own, with no consultation with this special interest group, why do they need the special interest to defend it? Maybe because the HCGA told the county what to put in the “impartial” analysis and when it was challenged they called the HCGA back to the table to help defend it. The HCGA did attempt to do that, and here is the response from Bundy to the HCGA.

https://cannabisinitiative.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/HCRI-Response-to-HCGA-comments-on-impartial-analysis-10-31-23.pdf

“HCGA is concerned that the Initiative proponents’ true goal is to stop all public debate regarding the Initiative’s infirmities.”

If the HCGA believes so deeply in the public process, why did they launch a lawsuit trying to stop the Measure from appearing on the ballot? The judge ruled against them and said everything the claimed about it was false.

“The County must consider what capacity the Board of Supervisors has to enact implementing ordinances, and HCGA encourages the Board to do so at public hearings so that these issues can be resolved prior to the March 2024 election.”

In six years, the County has not held one hearing that Resolution 18-43 mandates. They are supposed to happen every year. It’s important to have these since we can’t evaluate impacts and apply adaptive management without them.  Why does this attorney think they’ll hold one for this?

fndrbndr
Member
12 days ago
Reply to  Water

Your conspiracy doesn’t hold WATER. That letter was a response to the board concerning your destructive initiative. Again there was zero collaboration. If you think so find the data to prove it. If you can’t you are basically lying to the public.

Omnomnonimous
Guest
Omnomnonimous
9 days ago

I just read this whole thing not knowing but really wondering who wrote it until I got to the end. I wasn’t surprised to find it was Eric Kirk but this is pretty outstanding even for him. I’ve tried hard to look at this fro both sides and wasn’t sure I would arrive at a logical conclusion that didn’t just rely on the opinions of people I’ve trusted in the past, but now I’m certain the risks of Measure A outweigh any potential benefits.