Delta town Government Suffers Medical Marijuana Backlash 050411
The tiny town of Isleton, a burg about the size of Loyalton, is in the crossfire of the last of the medical marijuana skirmishes. The little town, in business since the 19th century, is located on Andrus Island, amidst the small islands and canals of the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta.
The little town has a reputation for finding creative ways to pay for city services. Most recently, elected officials approved a special permit for a medical cannabis grow. The grow, managed by non profit Delta Allied Growers would have had six greenhouses and would have garnered the little town about $25,000 a month in revenues. DAG had intended to purchase the 50 acre parcel once the grow was established. The non-profit had provided security for the grow site and cameras for the entire town, so law enforcement could monitor the site for illegal activity, and could watch the entire town for crime. DAG had to follow normal protocol for a special use permit.
But Sacramento District Attorney Jan Scully brought charges against the grow manager, and against the members of Isleton’s city government. A letter from Scully’s office is quoted as saying the grow is illegal under state and federal laws.
It is broadly believed in Isleton that DA Scully was elected by the people of Sacramento County, California, to enforce California laws, not federal laws. Still, it’s hard for a DA with political ambitions not to try to make a name tap dancing on pot growers. It’s odd, though, that Scully chose tiny Iselton, instead of Sacramento County or even the City of Sacramento, both of whom have reportedly given special use permits to medical grows. Perhaps it’s because tiny Isleton would be the same legal victory as Sacramento County, but the few hundred voters there are not enough to cost Scully an election.
Jan Scully, from the Sacto County site.
The Prospect spoke with Doug Pope, city manager for Iselton. Mr. Pope was called before the grand jury as were the town mayor, the entire police force in the person of Chief Rick Sullivan, and city council members. He was not surprised at the actions; in other articles he is quoted as saying the DA was “in a writing mood”. He described for the Prospect the logic of the city council: the voters have approved medical marijuana, the courts have generally supported patient’s rights to access, Delta Allied followed the process required by law and so did the City of Iselton. His quietly expressed logic exhibited the will of the voters, and the need for his tiny city to pay its bills. Our own City of Loyalton stuggles with water and sewer issues which threaten to bankrupt the government and drive people out of town. Isleton has similar problems. The area produces other crops, why not this legal medical crop?
Isleton City Limits from Wiki
The Fringe applauds Isleton, both for standing up for the rights of residents, and for being willing to lead the curve. The state of California has defaulted on its responsibility to local government; it’s held funds, dumping key duties on local government without supporting funding. Now, a historic little town tries to support itself in the 21st Century and falls prey to a DA who can’t move forward. Too bad it isn’t Loyalton and Sierra County holding the line against rampant copitude.
In the course of researching this story the Prospect heard an unsubstantiated report that Kamala Harris, whom the Prospect endorsed for Attorney General, had declined to wade in on the side of legal medical cannabis users, or on the side of the tiny town, reportedly because she wants to be the first Black Woman governor of California. We report this disparaging rumor as a rumor only. We thought about contacting the AG’s office to ask, “did you really say something so self-serving” but decided we could do without being on the AG’s hit list. We’re on enough already.