NEVADA CITY, Calif.  December 9, 2016 – So now that smoking marijuana is legal you can’t get busted any more, right? Well, not quite.

Don’t fire up that freedom reefer on the sidewalk or almost any other public space. And smoking the stuff is still against the law where tobacco smoking is forbidden – places like restaurants and theaters. And smoke-free city downtown areas, like ours. Smoking marijuana in public can bring a $100 fine; near a school can cost $250.

So where can you legally smoke? At home.

It’s still an illegal substance according to federal law and that means Federal Communications Commission regulated broadcasters – radio and television – cannot carry marijuana advertising.

Want to open a pot shop? You will need a state license. Want to grow marijuana for others? You’ll still need a license.

And it’ll be pretty much business as usual at the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office. Most of their marijuana cases don’t involve personal possession, but growing, selling, or transporting large amounts, which still qualify as felonies, according to DA Cliff Newell.

Over at the sheriff’s office work goes on trying to enforce the long list of growing prohibitions enacted by the Board of Supervisors earlier this year.

According to the department’s new web site the county cops are no longer busting all outdoor grows. In July the BOS passed an emergency ordinance “…immediately lifting the outdoor ban and putting new regulations on outdoor grow sizes based on parcel acreage.” There are pages of replacement regulations listed on the web site:

“All marijuana cultivated shall be shielded from public view at all stages of growth. All cultivation areas shall be adequately secure to prevent unauthorized entry, including a secure locking mechanism that shall remain locked at all times when a qualified patient or primary caregiver is not present within the cultivation area.” So, get robbed it’s your fault? Being seen is a crime? Go, supes!

And, the department now has a Facebook page:

Attempts to contact Lt. Bill Smethers of the sheriff’s narcotics task force were unsuccessful despite messages left asking him to contact this reporter. Apparently marijuana enforcement is still more than a full time job in Nevada County.

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.

One reply on “The Mountain Messenger | The Green Stuff is Legal Now. Sorta.”

  1. DA Newell’s gloss on Prop 64’s penalty structure looks pretty wrong to me.

    Have a look at the chart Chris Conrad put together summarizing the new laws; it shows clearly that cultivation and distribution are not eligible for felony charges–unless certain conditions are met, including a third conviction or aggravating circumstances, such as selling to a minor, transporting out of state, or environmental violations.

    Here’s the chart:

    “Business as usual” sounds like wishful thinking on the part of law enforcement who don’t want their golden goose to go away.

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