County Council Report

It’s the day after the County Council meeting, and I’m sitting here in my yurt in the jungle of South Puna listening to John Lennon on the stereo as I write this. All these years after his death he still shines on as he said we all would. Just imagine if we really had a world like he imagined. What would it be like? Could we make it happen? Are we willing to live our dreams?

I am, and I’m happy to meet others who live here and are doing the same. I would say there is a higher per capita number of persons in this area who share a dream similar to mine, than anywhere else I lived for many years, and that’s why we moved here.

There was some very moving testimony yesterday by persons who are directly affected by the current anti-cannabis program. There was also excellent testimony by a teen court judge in favor of legalization and regulation, a supportive substance abuse counselor and others who spoke knowledgeably about the detrimental effects of suppressing cannabis production.

Councilman Bob Jacobsen, a nurse who experienced first hand the devastating effects of ice and a Green Party member, was very receptive and voted to put our initiative on the ballot as did Councilman Angel Padillo (?). Councilman Gary Saffarik more or less abstained making his vote automatically go with those blocking the initiative. The County Attorney was less supportive than I expected from what Roger had said. I don’t know of any plan to pursue this in the courts at this time.

The vote actually came down to whether a technicality actually exists which would allow us to put the initiative on the ballot with only five signatures. Some council members expressed support for what we want to do but did not want to set a precedent of allowing an initiative on the ballot with only five signatures. Anyhow, there were all kinds of obstacles put up.

Now we know we have to find out how counties like Mendocino, CA did it and get the necessary signatures to put it on the ballot in two years. The council knows they’re playing defense but that we don’t have our act totally together yet.

Afterward, a group of us who stayed to the end went to the lagoon for a smoke and debriefing session. We agreed that one of the best outcomes of all this is that we got to come together and know each other and these relationships will continue. My wife and I met doing organizing work and she was there testifying too yesterday speaking from her nursing experience with ice addicts. Today, I want to call Bob Jacobsen and find out more about what the Green Party is doing here since I am more philosophically aligned with them than any other party. Aloha.

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