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Marijuana Sales Banned In Tuolumne County

Sonora, CA — The selling of marijuana for recreational use is now expressly forbidden in Tuolumne County, but plans to work on new local rules will proceed. Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to specifically ban the sale of marijuana for recreational use in Tuolumne County.

The ordinance was open for public discussion but did not have any representatives speaking in favor of it. Three spoke out against the ordinance citing some patients’ medical need to purchase it, and three spoke neutrally about the ordinance but in favor of laws regulating and permitting the sale of marijuana in Tuolumne County.

Supervisor District 5, Karl Rodefer, stated “We still have a constitutional issue between the State and the Feds and I think its time that we take this up at the Federal level.” The audience of about 15 clapped in approval of the idea. Rodefer continued, “It’s a real conflict for us up here that have sworn to uphold and defend two constitutions when those two constitutions are in conflict.”

District 2 Supervisor Randy Hanvelt and other board members agreed with Supervisor Rodefer. Supervisor Hanvelt said he would see Paul Smith, a Senior Legislative Advocate from Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) in the next few weeks, and would talk to him about the issue. The RCRC represents the interests of 35 rural counties, including Tuolumne, at state and federal levels. Current Federal law regulates marijuana as a Schedule I drug identified as having no medical use. Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD and peyote. Methamphetamine, or meth, is a Schedule II drug, there are five regulation levels in total.

Each of the Supervisors thanked the public for their patience, several public comments noted the years the issue of regulating the sale of marijuana has been before the board with no change.

Supervisor Distric 3 Evan Royce said “We put this off because of the election… so we are going to get on this and you are going to start seeing some action.”

The approved ordinance banning all sales was recommended for approval by the Tuolumne County Planning Commission last month by a 4-2 vote. The ban will remain in place while a marijuana working group, created by the board, can review the various aspects of Proposition 64 and potentially come back with a revised ordinance. Supervisor Royce and newly elected board chair and District 1 Supervisor Sherri Brennan will be leading the marijuana working group.

Proposition 64, passed in November, legalizes marijuana for recreational use in California and allows residents to grow up to six plants.