In Clark County…

Yeah, I know I’ve been ranting on about both the county and city cannabis collective garden moratoriums. I’ve written letters attempting to explain to the municipalities why they are mistaken on not only the law, but the extent of their authority in this particular matter.

I’ve written “Letters to the Editor”  on the subject. I’ve made my case plain, explaining the facts. That’s tough in a LttE. There’s a 200 word limit. Heh.

The other day one of our County Commissioners made a couple of public statements that’ve rankled me a touch. I guess dude didn’t get my memo?

To paraphrase, Commissioner Mielke said the county was going to extend the current moratorium in order to protect county employees from federal prosecution. He also indicated he believed medicinal cannabis to be a sham.

Huh? Pardon me?

Apparently Mr. Mielke didn’t read the letter I mailed (yes, mailed — paper, envelope) to the Board quite some time back. I explained the law to the commissioners in that correspondence. Not what I think the law says, but what it reads.

So I figured I’d give it another shot. I sent the following email to Commissioner Mielke about the 3rd of this month (Saturday):

Commissioner Mielke,

I’m responding to comments you made during an interview on CVTV and later published in The Columbian.

You state the moratorium will continue due to the risk of county employees being prosecuted by the DOJ. I, sir, state that is a red herring.

There is no requirement (nor provision, for that matter) for a garden to be licensed, registered or zoned. Just what involvement, then, would a county employee have in a garden? Zero. Zip. Nada.

You basically say (again, your opinion) that medicinal cannabis is a sham. You state that there are other drugs just as useful. Do I need point out the contradiction in that statement?

Are you aware the synergistic relationship between opioid pain relievers and cannabis has been anecdotally noted since the 1840s? Are you aware of the clinical studies that have proven this. I’m anticipating the results of an animal study performed right here at WSU.

Commissioner, did you know that 100 people a day die in this country from prescription drug overdoses. Or that a drug as seemingly innocuous as acetaminophen can kill? Are you aware there has never been a recorded death from a cannabis overdose, nor organ damage.

As a citizen of this county I feel it is my duty to educate yourself and your fellow commissioners on not only the law, but the efficacy of cannabis.

Toward that end, once again I offer you an open invitation to my home to discuss the matter in further detail.


So what’a’ya think? Somewhat short and to the point… concise? Okay, maybe a bit brash or even arrogant. Still, you get it, right?

I got a reply from the Commissioner the following Monday:


Thank you for the input, my remarks are limited as my knowledge and decision has been based on two friends who indeed have a choice of relief along with a few doctors sharing their knowledge with me.  I believe you are right when you say the State has no provisions in law to even have a garden let alone sell or use.  The BOCC here have contacted the Federal AG’s office and told us that anyone, including a county employee would and could be prosecuted for being involved in distribution of an illegal substance.

Again thanks for sharing with me, I truly appreciate input from the citizens of our County.


So, as I began reading I was thinking, okay, maybe Tom will realize he’s a bit weak on his knowledge of cannabis. Maybe he’ll do some research of his own, but then I kept reading and saw that he totally, I mean totally, missed my statements about the county employees’ involvement in a “garden.”

Shortly after receiving the above, another communique came over:

I just realized after rereading your mail, that I didn’t answer part of your concern.  That part was whether or not we were required to be involved. Yes the Governor and the legislature had passed or mandated that we provide this in Clark County.  And, again at the same time, the DOJ said they would not honor the State over turning the Federal law.

Hope this helps our position,

Shit-oh-dear… What? Am I just screaming into the night here?

Okay, so I figured it was time to call the bet. You know? Show me your cards? So I responded to his “clarification” with this:

Commissioner, can you direct me to where I might find that mandate?

Thank you for responding!

That exchange was on the same Monday. I got nothing back. I waited 48 hours and then fired this off on the morning of the 7th, Wednesday:

Sir, I understand your busy schedule might not have room for finding a copy of the mandate you mention for my review. Though I’d think with an extension of the moratorium on an upcoming agenda you would have the materials near at hand.

Regardless, perhaps someone on the staff would be willing to direct me to where I might find it?


Nothin’. Today’s Sunday the 11th, I got nothin’ back. You and I both know why. The “mandate” the Good Commissioner speaks of does not exist. Man, I can’t help, but sit here and wonder if Tom knows that. Or not.



  1. Gator said,

    March 15, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    So you know, you may well be on someones list of “oh oh, it’s him again” when it comes to the Colombian but I think ol Tom there just got caught in his unawares! He prolly only knows what someone tells him to know so it’s kinda tough on him when a real question slaps his right cheek and a provit slaps him on the left…. it’s appearing that it has left him beffuddled what?

  2. capndrift said,

    March 15, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    “Provit?” Prove it?
    It frustrates me, man. I’ve written to the Commissioners (Stuart a day or two ago), I’ve written to the City Council and Attorney. I’ve explained that they are mistaken in the law. I’ve pointed out where and why.


    This recent thing with Commissioner Mielke has thrown the door open to another tact. Instead of trying to educate them, I’m now asking them to educate me, “Show me where you have authority over collective gardens.”

    It appears Mielke pulled out on me.
    In all fairness it’s only been a day or two with Stuart. If I don’t have a response in a week, well…

    My imagination runs away with me some times, man. I see this conversation where a consultant or attorney is advising one of my elected officials, “Fuck him off. If he files a preliminary injunction, we’ll deal with it then. In the meantime, phhht.”

    So who’s running the damned show here?
    Drop me a line, will ya?

  3. Sid Adams said,

    March 24, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Here in Delaware they approved medical pot. Only to ‘cancel’ the approval a couple of months ago. They were barking about the county and state workers could get in trouble for working with and around the weed.
    I never really understood the whole deal at all ! They tell you about what they just did and then condridict previous statements.
    Delaware law would blow your mind wide open, check out some of our reasons in the ‘First State’ by googleing Delaware Law or whatever it’s under.

  4. capndrift said,

    March 25, 2012 at 8:37 am

    It appears Stuart has elected to ignore me, too.

    I don’t know if you’re aware, Sid; The Washington State Governor vetoed sections of legislation that would have legalized dispensaries in the state. Not only legalized, but had them regulated by the state.

    She, too, cited threats made by the U.S. Attorneys.

    Fortunately, we have a system in place whereby an individual with a docter’s rec can grow fifteen plants and/or have 1 1/2 pounds of material at any time. That is still in place. There’s no need for state involvement in a system like that (that’s my point with the City and County).

    Also, if Washington isn’t the only, then it’s one of the few states that don’t have a “patient registry.” Other than enforcement, the state has no involvement in medicinal cannabis at all (why do the municipalities think they do?).

    Wouldn’t it be nice if one of today’s governors had the balls New York’s Laguardia had back during alcohol prohibition? Basically, his stance was the feds could outlaw booze all they wanted. New York, however, had no interest in enforcing the federal prohibition.

    ‘Course, today states stuff their pockets with federal dollars. If they don’t play nice with Uncle Sam they run the risk of having their allowance pulled.

    Schedule I is the thorn. -That- needs to be pulled. It’s creating quite the oozing wound.

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