NEVADA CITY, Calif. December 3, 2016 – One of the first reactions to marijuana legalization in California would seem to be a dampening down of activity by Americans for Safe Access, a group active in making medical marijuana available to Nevada County patients. Not so, says the group’s chair, Patricia Smith.

“The downsizing (it’s really a closure) isn’t due to the legalization of cannabis in California.” Smith says her personal living and growing situation is behind the move. “My new landlady plans to convert the house into a duplex so I wouldn’t be able to grow my six plants for our collective (too close to neighbor).”

She doesn’t believe legal marijuana will completely solve the problem of finding the medical variety.

“I think that once dispensaries are free to sell ‘recreational’ marijuana there will be a scarcity of medicinal product. This is born out by real life examples in Washington state. Once they merged the two programs (rec & med), patients reported a scarcity within two months.”

Moving to cope with legalization, the Nevada County Sheriff’s office has developed a web site to allow the community to research marijuana growing areas in their neighborhoods. Using https://marijuana.mynevadacounty.com/ resident growers can access the county mapping software for a quick glimpse into areas that allow cultivation and those where cultivation is restricted.

Smith doesn’t see legalization as a victory for ASA. “Recreational marijuana use was never the focus of ASA. The state chapter remained neutral and I went so far as to join in a press conference against Prop 64. Not that I am against rec use, I just believe that 64 was written to merge the two programs in the future which I vehemently oppose.”

In a public letter Smith summed up the past few years’ struggle.

“Thank you all so much for your support in this epic battle we have undertaken as we continue to fight for our right to cultivate our medicine in peace. The time has come to shutter ASA,” Smith continued. “I will continue to fight for your interests, but will now focus on our educational series, my radio show, The Cannabis Crusades, and community service projects.”

Editor’s note: The Mountain Messenger, California’s oldest weekly newspaper since 1853, is published on Thursdays from Downieville, California.

The Mountain Messenger can be purchased for half a buck at the National Hotel (sidewalk), Nevada City SPD (outside), Nevada City Express Mart (outside) and in front of Safeway, Brunswick area.