SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento County is moving forward with a proposal to ban all commercial marijuana activities. The first vote passed 3-1 on Tuesday afternoon. The final vote will happen in two weeks.
"I think we're burying our head in the sand," said Supervisor Patrick Kennedy, the lone nay vote.
Kennedy disagrees with the proposed pot business ban.
"We're already behind the 8-ball on this. It's happening in the neighborhoods now," said Kennedy speaking about illegal operations. "If we don't act now, we're just going to see it grow in a way that is totally irresponsible for the community."
The proposal prohibits cultivation, manufacturing of things like edibles and oils, lab testing, distribution or sale of anything related to marijuana. The proposed ordinance would allow personal cultivation. People can grow nine plants inside their home.
Supporters say the ban will allow the county to wait and see how other communities handle legalization.
"If we hold steady and say we don't want these in our communities then at least the stigma is there," said Anne Marie Schubert
The district attorney and the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department also support the ban. But the agency tasked with enforcement aired some issues at Tuesday's meeting.
"Although we may dress like police officers, we are not police officers," said Rachel Sutherland from the podium.
Sutherland is a code enforcement officer she investigates housing, zoning, and vehicle violations. Her office is also responsible for cracking down on illegal marijuana businesses. They are at times accompanied by a sheriff's department deputy.
"The line between peace officer and code enforcement officer has blurred," said Sutherland, "it will become even more blurry when you have us doing full on drug enforcement activity."
She is pushing for more support from the sheriff's department or to hand over the marijuana enforcement job entirely to them.
"It's clearly incumbent upon us to make sure they have the all the necessary training if we're going to send them to these grows," said Kennedy.
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