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A roundup of environmentalists and hunters is suing Mendocino County. They say that the country went against conservation laws when it decided to change the limits on growing medical marijuana without looking at its effect on the environment. The Mendocino County Blacktail Association — which oversees healthy herds of Columbian black-tailed deer, mostly for hunting — is looking for a lawsuit against the urgency measure and asking the county to conduct a study examining the impact of their choice on the environment. The bill allows for people to plant more than ninety-nine plants on a ten-acre parcel with permission from the Sheriff’s Office. The earlier limit was twenty-five plants per parcel.
“The impacts from this rapidly growing industry must be analyzed fairly, just as logging, roads, agriculture and housing must do,” Paul Trouette, the group’s president, stated.
Trouette also runs his own private company – Lear Asset Management – that takes over illegal cannabis gardens. He states that he has seen the detrimental impacts of the environment that growers can cause in person. For instance, there can be poisoned animals, contaminated waters, deforestation, as well as erosion. Most of the time, it is deer that are negatively affected.
Those are the same issues that county officials say that they are trying to steer clear of when they passed regulations during the month of May. The county put forth temporary rules because a permanent measure had been halted by the admitted need for a study on the impacts on the environment. The lawsuit claims that the county illegal tried to circumvent regulations. It adds that the county “prejudicially abused its discretion by finding the project qualified for exemption” from the California Environmental Quality Act.
Supervisor John McCowen did not have much to say about the lawsuit, however, said that the urgency measure was to help the environment in light of pending state regulations that will provide an outline for the growth and regulation of medical marijuana.
“The urgency ordinance allows existing cultivators to grow more marijuana subject to inspection by the sheriff and compliance with a long list of conditions,” he stated. “Without the urgency ordinance, we will see even more marijuana cultivation overall but with no inspections or regulation.”

 


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