Home > Eureka California, Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, marijuana > Eureka medical pot ordinance on hold

Eureka medical pot ordinance on hold

The Eureka City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday to initiate a moratorium on its medical marijuana ordinance after receiving a letter by the US Department of Justice that threatened legal action if the ordinance went forward.  Councilmember Linda Atkins cast the dissenting vote.

The letter was solicited by city staff who requested guidance on medical marijuana growing facilities in Eureka. Atkins expressed dismay at staff for contacting the Feds without specific direction from the council. She said the threats to prosecute were predictable.

Medical marijuana was also the focus at Tuesday’s Humboldt County Board of Supervisors meeting.  Supervisors invited Mendocino County officials including Sheriff Tom Allman to give a presentation on their seemingly-successful medical pot regulations.

During the presentation, Mendocino County Supervisor John McCowen appeared bemused at Eureka’s request for input from the Feds. “We don’t have any intention of asking for a letter,” he said.

Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey told Supervisors that while the DOJ says they are committed to enforcing Federal marijuana laws, it’s unlikely because of cuts to funding.

Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos also attended the Supes meeting and expressed support for a county ordinance. Supervisors voted unanimously to send information on Mendocino’s regs to the Humboldt medical marijuana sub-committee for consideration.

But in Eureka, the special on the menu is weak sauce. Interim city attorney Andy Stunich even suggested that the city ordinance be rewritten to refer “herbal medicines” rather than marijuana, and then strike some kind of deal with Eureka Police to enforce rules for the non-descriptive herbs. Councilwoman Marian Brady supported this hazy idea.

The moratorium will stretch out long enough for the new city attorney, Cyndy Day-Wilson to get settled in.  She starts in November.

  1. Ben
    September 7, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Dear Linda,
    Ignorance of the law is no excuse.
    An effective councilmember should act with all the available information rather than put your head in the sand.

  2. September 7, 2011 at 7:24 am

    I’m not surprised that Eureka City staff took action without direction from the City Council. It seems pretty clear that Tyson runs the City of Eureka and not the elected officials (see firing of Garr Nielsen).

    The reactions from the council majority and their support of looking to the Feds for guidance on what should be state’s rights issue is also not surprising given that three of them are former law enforcement officers.

    Let’s hope the citizens of Eureka are paying attention and move the council in a different direction over the next two elections.

  3. September 7, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Again agree 100%.

  4. Anonymous
    September 7, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Sending the letter to the feds was like asking Hitler if it was alright to be a Jew. Once again, the city manager has cost Eureka jobs and revenue. This council is backward and wrongheaded. Not only are they throwing the sick and suffering under the bus, they’ve choked off one of the most vigorous economies we have.

  5. Decline To State
    September 7, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Outrageous behavior by Tyson and his city council but totally predictable. We’ve gotten (at least the voting majority of us) what we deserve.

  6. Anonymous
    September 7, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Linda is the only council member who understands the meaning of the compassionate use act.

  7. Anonymous
    September 7, 2011 at 7:56 am

    Federal enforcement is when they bring 400 Durangos to the Red Lion parking lot, drive out to meet in Fortucky, and go bust a few of smalltimers halfway between nowhereville. If the feds did this twice a day every day without any local police support, they could probably drive the price of a pound up $5.

  8. Down the Road
    September 7, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Don’t think for a minute this wasn’t planned out by Frank, Lance
    and Melinda. Tyson was simply the tool. This new council has gotten rid of the Jefferson Elementary school purchase, the
    police chief and now this. They have systematically tried to
    erase any progress the old council made. They take the Alice
    in Wonderland approach.

    The other thing that should be looked at by the public, is the use
    of the redevelopment money. Looks like the West Side has gotten
    the shaft again.

  9. September 7, 2011 at 8:57 am

    If you live in Eureka, why not start the RECALL of these clowns NOW.

  10. High Finance
    September 7, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Someone said Tuesday night that there were 14,000 people in Humboldt County with 215 cards.

    Really ? And you people still claim Prop 215 isn’t a fraud ?

    Is making drugs easier to get, cheaper to buy and more socially acceptable a good thing for society ? Will those things make drug use go up or go down ?

  11. Ed
    September 7, 2011 at 9:08 am

    I wonder how many alcoholics there are in the county? How many addicted to pharmaceuticals? These are far worse for society.

  12. tra
    September 7, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Is making drugs easier to get, cheaper to buy and more socially acceptable a good thing for society ?

    When the “drug” in question is one of the least harmful known to man, and when the harms caused by its prohibition FAR outweigh the harms caused by its use, then the answer is clearly “yes.”

  13. September 7, 2011 at 9:25 am

    The second most prescribed substance BEFORE prohibition was CANNABIS. It was used to treat over 400 illness’s and diseases.
    Just because you CURRENTLY need a doctors recommendation for medical cannabis does not make it a “harmful” drug that needs to be prohibited.
    H.F., would you rather see 14,000 of your fellow citizens made into CRIMINAL FELONS because you personally disagree with their choice in doctor recommended and approved medicine?
    As the law stand right now, if you get a 215 recommendation fraudulently in is a crime. I have yet toi hear of anyone having their recommendation challenged in court since the ruling in People V Sparks, where the appellate court found that Juries and judges do not get to “second guess” a doctor’s approval, condition need not be determined to be “serious” for a valid approval.


    Please learn the CURRENT state of the law.

  14. tra
    September 7, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Of course what Eureka decides to do won’t actually make any real difference to the local availability of cannabis one way or the other. After all, there are already several dispensaries in Arcata, as well as the two dispensaries in Myrtletown, just outside Eureka city limits. (And of course there’s no lack of cannabis available on the black market for those who don’t have a 215 recommendation.)

    So if the Eureka City Council wants to pass on the opportunity to exert some regulartory control while gaining some revenue from the local cannabis trade, that’s their prerogative…and the rest of the county will have no problem taking up the slack.

  15. Brad
    September 7, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Personally I think you should enjoy this 215 stuff while it lasts. I predict that the GOP in congress will start to turn it baleful eye upon CA, and will cut all federal highway, school, library funds until 215 is repealed after the 2012 election.
    Even if Obama wins, he is under a lot of pressure from his own religious backers (the ultra conservative African-american churchs) who want an end to Med Pot.
    Our democratic Senators Boxer and Feinstein have also stated that are 100% opposed to prop 215.
    Remember Pot Prohibition was started by the Feds under FDR as part of the public works jobs. The WoD is a $5,000,0000,0000 industry.

  16. Anonymous
    September 7, 2011 at 9:54 am

    High Finance, thank you for supporting black market cannabis growers. We need to get back to the days when you could hire someone to clean a pound for $50 and sell it for $4800. These new $200 trimmers and $1800 pounds need to go. Unless people start to think of cannabis like moonshine during prohibition again, the price support for our extravagent rural real estate prices will crumble. It is already getting to the point where remote land with rusted trailers and school bus storage is no longer desirable.

  17. tra
    September 7, 2011 at 9:55 am


    I think you’re worrying too much. With something like 18 different states having some form of cannabis decriminalization and/or legalization for medical purposes, the Feds won’t be able to go after only California. And the fact of the matter is that the Federal goverernment simply doesn’t have the resources to stop marijuana cultivation, distribution, and the use of the herb by tens of millions of ordinary Americans.

    They’ve always depended on state, county, and municipal police forces to handle the vast bulk of prohibition enforcement (and even then they’ve never been able to stamp out the weed). If it was just one or states, or a handful of municipalities, that were going their own way, then the Feds might be able to go after those few with a vengeance, in the hopes of “setting an example.” But at this point I don’t think even the most enthusiastic Drug Warriors really believe that they’re actually going to be able to put the medical cannabis genie back in the prohibition bottle.

  18. High Finance
    September 7, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Ed repeats the old mantra “Alcohol is worse”. Which it is but does that make more stoned people OK ? Murder is worse than bank robbery. That does not make bank robbery OK either.

    Mark mentions how pot was prescribed by doctors a hundred years ago. A hundred years before that doctors prescribed blood letting to reduce fevers. In fact many historians think blood letting contributed to George Washington’s premature demise.
    Medicine has improved over the centuries. I don’t want to see those 14,000 people in jail Mark, I want to see them sober, paying taxes and leading productive lives. Don’t you ?

    9.54am. Actually “black market growers” are better than legalizing dope. Making pot harder to get makes it more expensive and reducing use. Also keeping it illegal makes it less socially acceptable and that also reducing use.

  19. Anonymous
    September 7, 2011 at 10:24 am

    High Finance, yes, thank you for supporting these ideas. We don’t want to end up like Holland where less than 10% of young people use cannabis. Young people are some of the best customers and need to be nurtured by the black market, not discouraged by identification requirements. California’s decline in usage by youth is alarming and must go back up to early 1990s levels for the sake of local industry.

  20. anon
    September 7, 2011 at 10:36 am

    tra is correct. This genie isn’t going to go back in the bottle.
    And apparently hifi hasnt read up on bloodletting and leeches being used in modern medicine.

  21. September 7, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Ignorance of the law is no excuse.
    An effective councilmember should act with all the available information rather than put your head in the sand.

    Amazing that Tyson et al could be so ignorant of Federal laws on marijuana that they would have to ask the DOJ for clarification.

  22. September 7, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Arguing with HF is like banging your head into a wall, even if you will, you are still the guy banging your head against a wall….
    They are bringing back therapeutic leeches, a form of bloodletting. Also they medical community is starting to use MAGGOTS too.Just an fyi.

    I would rather deal with the mild side effects of cannabis than the side effects like “sudden death, stroke, etc.” from “modern” prescription drugs.

    Call me kooky.



  23. September 7, 2011 at 10:48 am

    will = win

  24. September 7, 2011 at 10:53 am

    You are talking out of your butthole. I have personal letters from both Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer that state that they are in FULL support of prop 215, medical cannabis, medical cannabis distribution, and medical cannabis patients.
    The NAACP is also in full support of medical cannabis nationally, as well as federal legalization.
    Would you expect any conservative religious group to support legalization, since they thrive on “reforming ” addicts and “bringing them to jesus” and hosting NA group meeting at a profit?

  25. Anonymous
    September 7, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Eureka is doing the right thing for our community. If people are told it is okay to buy high-quality cannabis legally from regulated stores, many people employed as low-level cannabis dealers (who cannot compete in the heroin or methamphetamine markets) will be forced to work for less money. This will invariably hit the little guy who has spent years developing skills in weighing and bagging cannabis.

  26. Brad
    September 7, 2011 at 11:35 am

    @Mark – Scan and Post? I wrote Feinstein just before Obama came in about the DEA raids and harassment of landlords and her response was firmly anti-pot. She only grudgingly admits that it might be useful for “for serious and/or catastrophic illnesses.”.

  27. Anonymous
    September 7, 2011 at 11:57 am

    That link says Diane Feinstein opposes narcotic drugs which legally are opium, poppy straw, ecgonine, coca, and cocaine. “Including marijuana” does not clarify that statement. Feinstein could just as well have said she opposes all barbiturate drugs, including aspirin.

  28. 454
    September 7, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Hey 9:54, it’s been 200/pound for decades.

  29. Not A Native
  30. Fact Checker
    September 7, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    High Ball says:
    September 7, 2011 at 9:02 am

    “Someone said Tuesday night that there were 14,000 people in Humboldt County with 215 cards.

    Really ? And you people still claim Prop 215 isn’t a fraud ?”

    Really High Ball? “Someone”? Now that is a good “factual” source to quote. When High Ball & Dick Cheney oppose the will of the people, they call it “a fraud”. What a pair of hacks!

  31. Humboldt Before Wall Street
    September 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    High Ball says:
    September 7, 2011 at 10:08 am

    “Actually “black market growers” are better than legalizing dope.”

    I agree High Ball. Those stores have too much over-head and they give tax money to support US Military adventurism in addition to supporting bailouts for your scumbag buds on Wall Street. Always buy your local herb from a local who does not support the shitstem.

  32. tra
    September 7, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Making pot harder to get makes it more expensive and reducing use.

    Well that’s the theory, but as in the case of alcohol prohibition — which was one of the most spectacular public policy failures in our nation’s history — it’s not clear to me that this strategy has actually worked with cannabis either.

    Can you point me to any evidence showing that jurisdictions that have enacted tougher penalties and stricter enforcement have actually seen any real drop in the rate of cannabis use, or that jurisdictions that have decriminalized cannabis use have seen any substantial increase?

    Also keeping it illegal makes it less socially acceptable and that also reducing use.

    Again, in theory yes, but in practice perhaps not. It may be that this factor is countered by a countervailing “forbidden fruit” effect, where young people are actually more attracted by the allure of trying something that is “frowned upon” by the uptight mainstream.

    At any rate, I know from my own youth — and this was decades ago, mind you — that despite the legal status of alcohol, and the illegal status of pot, as a minor it was actually quite a bit easier to score some pot than it was to obtain alcohol.

    Why? Because alcohol was legal-but-regulated, so there wasn’t a viable black market for it, and therefore it wasn’t always all that easy to find someone to sell you some as a minor. Since pot was illegal, there was a viable black market, and therefore lots of little unregulated dealers that you could turn to as a minor.

  33. The Big Picture
    September 7, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    It would appear that poverty wage big boxes and campaign contributor’s subdivisions are the only “jobs” Eureka’s council-majorities can hang their hats on.

    What budget problems?

  34. High Finance
    September 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Tra, you have used the wrong example. Alcohol use is many times higher today than during prohibition.

    For every idiot teenager who is tempted by the “forbidden fruit” allure, there are other teenagers who don’t want to get in trouble. There are many more adults who don’t want to get arrested.

    I know from my own youth — and this was decades ago, mind you — that alcohol was easily available for any of us. Pot was a lot harder to obtain and harder drugs were next to impossible for us middle class kids.

    Why? because alcohol was legal and in every home. Many of us knew slightly older kids over 21 who would buy it for us.

  35. September 7, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Illegal drugs have always been easier for the youth to get.
    What planet do you live on sir?

  36. September 7, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    The current “drug problem” comes from mommy and daddies medicine cabinet in the form of PRESCRIPTION drugs.

  37. September 7, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    I was wondering if in the earlier post HF was actually arguing in favor of prohibition, and now I see not that she is!
    Maybe if she watches Ken Burns upcoming documentary it will change her mind?

  38. tra
    September 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Tra, you have used the wrong example. Alcohol use is many times higher today than during prohibition.

    Is it? Then by your logic I guess we should be going back to alcohol prohibition, right? To go after cannabis, which is far less harmful, while allowing alcohol, which is far more harmful, just because that’s the status quo and therefore it’s “easier” to go after pot — well that just seems like the old joke about the farmer who returns to see that his hired man has ignored his intructions about where to dig the well, and as a result has dug just a dry hole, to which the hired man responds “… yeah, but it was easier to dig over here.”

    By the way, I think the difference in our perspectives on the relative ease of getting pot and relative difficulty getting booze as a youth is probably because of the difference in our ages. By the time I was coming up, they had cracked down significantly on stores and bars selling to underage drinkers (whcih they could only do precisely because it IS a legal, regulated product, and those selling it have their license to think about, in addition to other penalites), and they had increased the penalties and enforcement against adults providing alcohol to minors. Where to get the keg was often problematic, and whoever provided it was running a real risk, but where to pick up a bag of ganja was never a problem and those dealing it were mostly just other kids. It should be noted that pot was illegal throughout that whole time, both in your youth and in mine, in fact enforcement was probably about at it’s peak when I was a teen. But there was no lack of ganja to be had.

  39. WhatNow
    September 7, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    As soon as HiFi and some of the other local parasitic shitstains figure a unique and personal angle to benefit on this we can expect to see Bass, Brady, Newman, Jager and the rest of ther slime showing up to cut the ribbon at the grand opening.

  40. High Finance
    September 8, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    My, my, my. Aren’t you the mature one.

    No wonder the left lost so big in Eureka with the likes of you on their side.

  41. Reality Check
    September 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    John Fullerton, sorry, I mean Hi-Fi, should be named King Skidmark of Eureka! He’ll have quite a court of assholes to rule with-Wrecks Bones, Ginny Bass, Robin and Cher-Cher!

  42. Fact Checker
    September 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    High Ball says:
    September 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    “Tra, you have used the wrong example. Alcohol use is many times higher today than during prohibition.

    For every idiot teenager who is tempted by the “forbidden fruit” allure, there are other teenagers who don’t want to get in trouble. There are many more adults who don’t want to get arrested.”

    Wrong again High Ball. Can’t get your facts right, can you ol’ boy?

    Those who believe these measures (higher drinking age) increase rather than reduce harm point to studies showing that youth drinking was declining footnote icon long before the U.S. adopted a national drinking age of 21 in 1987. They also say that the states that waited longer to raise their drinking ages did not have more drinking by young people than those that did it sooner.

  43. Anonymous
    September 8, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Alcohol prohibition is effective for keeping moonshiners and bootleggers employed.

  44. High Finance
    September 9, 2011 at 9:57 am

    LOL Reality Check. Guess again !

  45. Anonymous
    September 9, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Looks like HiFi has no sources for making ridiculous claims.

    Again, and again and again…..

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