From Pebbles Trippet (the conscience of the movement), September 30 2016
Mendocino Medical Marijuana Advisory Board/MMMAB has become a dissident voice within the Heritage Campaign, regarding policies and strategies we believe are best suited to further the cannabis community’s goals and interests. We present ideas from a different perspective that we hope will make you a more informed voter.
MMMAB is recommending No on AI, the Cannabis Tax Initiative, and Yes on AF, the Mendocino Heritage Initiative, contrary to the Heritage Campaign’s message to vote Yes on Both.
Both can’t win in Winner Take All. If AI gets the most votes, it will win and void the relevant tax sections in AF in their entirety, and leave us with a new cannabis crime — a criminal misdemeanor for ‘any’ violation of the cannabis tax code.
The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors Cannabis Tax Initiative reads as follows:
VIOLATION DEEMED MISDEMEANOR
Any person violating any of the provisions of this Chapter shall be deemed guilty of a Misdemeanor and shall be punishable therefore.
The BOS has sunk to a new low by creating a new cannabis tax crime, “deeming” “any” violations of the tax code criminal misdemeanors instead of civil infractions with punishments of jail or fines or both.
Having done our research with due diligence, MMMAB has uncovered a trend of prohibitionist public officials around the state, who are adding the clause: “any violation is deemed a misdemeanor” to their new cannabis tax measures, as an ingenious way to extend cannabis prohibition in perpetuity via tax law, just when it looks like it’s ending.
MMMAB sent out a question to thru CA NORML, asking attorneys if any of them knew of a new cannabis misdemeanor embedded in cannabis tax law?
NORML Attorney Richard Rosen responded and confirms that this is also happening in Monterrey County which enacted regulations for commercial and personal cannabis cultivation.
“Section 7.95.140 for personal cultivation provides ‘any violation of the regulations is a misdemeanor’. No proof of knowledge, intent or other mental state is required to establish a violation. Similar provisions are included in regulations for commercial grows. A county tax ordinance is on the ballot this November. I believe this also includes provisions making all violations misdemeanors.
“These regulations are recriminalizing actions that the state has decriminalized. The provision for personal grows removes the requirement of mental state and creates a criminal offense that is more onerous than anything in the CA Penal Code or Health & Safety Code. All state and criminal regulations require proof of knowledge and general criminal intent. This is outrageous public policy and I hope we can show it is unconstitutional as well.”
MMMAB supports plaintiffs filing a court challenge to enjoin the new cannabis crime on constitutional grounds, so that it never gets off the ground on appeal.
The misdemeanor bomb in Measure AI’s Cannabis Tax Act is reason in itself to vote No!! A Yes vote for AI is a vote to subject the entire cannabis community to a new misdemeanor crime and the prospect of cultivation recriminalization instead of reasonable regulation. This ruse is designed to trap well meaning growers who want to be legal into a situation they may not realize awaits them with the slightest misstep in the regulatory process, for instance lateness…”any” violation. These are intended consequences.
Vote No on AI to stop the new misdemeanor crime in the Cannabis Tax Act and Yes on AF in the Heritage Act to save and protect the family farm, the economic backbone of the cannabis future.
Pebbles Trippet, Paula Deeter, Ralf Laguna
Mendocino Medical Marijuana Advisory Board/MMMAB
Retro message from the managing editor