Medical marijuana was topic at Dunsmuir public workshop

Misa Maruyama

Dozens of people attended a public workshop on proposed medical marijuana regulation in the City of Dunsmuir on Tuesday, March 16. To the surprise of some, about half of the seats at the Dunsmuir Community Center building were empty, possibly due to the rainy weather.

The workshop was designed to inform the city council as it considers enacting a medical marijuana cultivation ordinance and amending a medical marijuana collective and cooperative ordinance.

The council heard from medical marijuana patients, Siskiyou County District Attorney Kirk Andrus, Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey, a doctor who prescribes medical marijuana and Tehama County District Attorney investigator Eric Clay. Clay delivered a 40 minute slideshow presentation on what he said were the harmful effects of marijuana.

Several medical marijuana patients shared emotional stories about why they use cannabis to alleviate chronic pain, saying a proposed cultivation ordinance would make growing their own medicine too costly.

The workshop was discussion only. The council must have two public hearings on the proposed ordinances before taking a final vote.

At the end of the meeting, Mayor Nick Mitchell, who supported further marijuana regulation when he took office, responded to critics who have accused the council of spending too much time on the pot ordinances.

“This is a tough one.  My mind has gone from pro to against and back and forth,” Mitchell said. “I’m personally torn with this issue. How ever long it takes us to get to this decision isn’t a waste of time.”