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Cheers and applause from a standing-room-only audience filled the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors chambers on Jan. 22 when the board voted unanimously to adopt an outdoor medical marijuana land use ordinance.

The ordinance — the culmination of a fast-paced review process by the board, county staff and the planning commission begun in September — will go into effect 30 days after adoption, just in time to avoid ceding control to state guidelines that haven't yet been fully developed. (Though the state deadline, imposed when Gov. Jerry Brown signed sweeping medical marijuana reforms last year, is poised to disappear, as North Coast Assemblyman Jim Wood's bill striking the date has already passed the Senate.)

The ordinance dictates what types of properties people can grow marijuana on, limits the size of those grows, determines performance standards for cultivators, creates a "Humboldt Artisanal Branding" designation for low-impact grows, prohibits new grows in timber production zones and includes a host of other guidelines and restrictions.

At the meeting, Interim Planning Director Rob Wall reminded the public that the ordinance can be amended in the future, and thanked his staff. "Given our pace, I think we've done a pretty good job," he said.

Flint, Michigan's water crisis is a nightmarish boondoggle of bureaucracy and politics hurting the most vulnerable residents of a beleaguered community and their access to safe drinking water: a fundamental human right.

But if the city's residents were hoping to get stoned to escape the toll of their daily struggle, they're in for bad news. It turns out Flint's lead-filled water is bad for weed plants, too.

Trying to save money, city officials in 2014 switched the source of the city's water from Lake Huron to the Flint River, which happened to be filled with a litany of corrosive chemicals. Those chemicals ate away at the water pipes (no, not that kind), introducing lead and other contaminants into the water that came out of residents' taps. As recent reports have shown, officials knew the water was contaminated but hid that fact from residents.

High Times, meanwhile, bravely reports that the lead can be taken up into marijuana plants tended with contaminated water, meaning the city's stash is pretty bunk. That is bad news for the city's medical marijuana patients, but High Times reports most of the area's pot is grown in surrounding suburbs because of the city's high crime rate.

According to the report, several downtown dispensaries and grow stores have taken to giving away water treated with reverse osmosis, which removes dangerous contaminants like lead — though it's unclear if that's being provided as drinking water or water for plants.

With some large national retailers stepping up to donate clean water to poisoned residents, maybe it's time for Humboldt County's growing community to supply the people of Flint with some of its lead-free ultra-kind.

Right-wing billionaire Sheldon Adelson's shady purchase of the Las Vegas Review-Journal might not have made much noise outside of journalism circles, but the effects of Adelson's takeover are now manifesting in a dispute over marijuana.

According to a report, Adelson asked the newspaper's editorial board to reconsider its long-running support of marijuana legalization ahead of a statewide vote on the matter.

Adelson, the report says, funded a campaign that successfully defeated decriminalization in Florida in 2004.

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About The Author

Grant Scott-Goforth

Grant Scott-Goforth has been an assistant editor and staff writer for The Journal since 2013.

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