The ban, regulate or legalize cannabis debate comes to Murphys July 12

Calaveras County already has hundreds of medical cannabis farms. Some residents want to shut down the industry and ban production. Others are calling for regulation. And California voters in November may legalize non-medical use of marijuana.

Organizers are calling it “The Great Calaveras Cannabis Debate.” What is billed as “a lively conversation” starts at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Murphys Suites Hotel, 134 E. Highway 4, Murphys.

Former Calaveras County Supervisor Merita Callaway will argue for cannabis regulation, Bill McManus will argue for a ban and Bob Bowerman of the Sacramento Chapter of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws will speak on behalf of Proposition 64, which would legalize recreational use.

Callaway will present the case for a regulation measure that has been certified for the Nov. 8 ballot.

It is still possible, however, that that measure won’t be on the Nov. 8 ballot if the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors decides to simply enact it into law. That decision could come earlier in the day on July 12.

A measure to ban all cannabis production except for personal and caregiver use failed to gather enough valid signatures and was not moved forward to the November ballot by the county Elections Department. McManus was a leader of that effort and says his group will continue to build support for a ban. He hopes to gather enough signatures to hold a special election on a ban in March.

Callaway, McManus and Bowerman will present their cases in opening statements and then the floor will be opened to questions. The Calaveras County Democratic Central Committee is hosting the debate.

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