Back in May, Butte County Supervisors approved an ordinance regulating medical marijuana cultivation with major restrictions, despite the objections of passionately opposed residents. Practically immediately after the ordinance’s approval, a petition drive was started to put the issue to a vote. Since enough signatures were collected, supervisors had to decide how to handle the referendum: either repealing the ordinance or scheduling a vote. The officials opted for the latter, so voters will have the final say come June 5, 2012 during the Primary Election. It is predicted the election will cost the county $50,000 or less. However, in an update, the county may have another referendum to add to the ballot.
On the same day that the county approved the aforementioned vote on the cultivation ordinance, petition gatherers also submitted signatures to overturn another county ordinance that outright bans dispensaries. Proponents of the petition drive turned in 12,025 signatures (they only needed a little over 7,600). As a result, the ban on dispensaries will be delayed from going into effect (it was supposed to be implemented on the 26th) so that the registrar of voters can verify signatures. If enough valid signatures have been submitted, then supervisors will once more have to decide whether to just rescind the ordinance or put the issue to a public vote. A local CBS news station reports:
“Last month, the county agreed with a planning commission recommendation that there are just no suitable areas for medical marijuana dispensaries in the county given the violent crime they tend to attract, among other concerns. But supporters of medical marijuana dispensaries insist that crime issues are overblown and that dispensaries are necessary under the state's proposition 215 rules. The county now has 30 days to certify the petition.”
For more, see here.