Willits Mayor Bruce Burtons Pot Ban;
WILLITS “COMPLETE BAN ON POT” Attempt by Mayor Bruce Burton FAILS!
A Break Down of Willits Mayor Bruce Burton’s “More on Pot Ban” Letter
Ed Note: When Mayor Bruce Burton says “Complete Ban”, he means COMPLETE BAN!
Due to much Public Scrutiny and Overwhelming Willits Community Outrage against “Burtons Pot Ban”, Mayor Bruce Burton recently submitted a very interesting letter to the Willits News where he further explains his discrimination against medical marijuana patients in the community as well as a full out blast on the Mendoicino County “Pot Culture”.
Mayor Burtons Writing skills are kinda hard to keep up with so bear with us:
More on pot ban
By Willits Mayor Bruce Burton
To the editor
Several weeks ago, the City Council’s ad hoc committee on cultivation, distribution, etc. of marijuana brought back a recommendation to the full Council to ban all types of this activity in the city boundary. They also recommended a more streamlined enforcement protocol be implemented. The extended timelines in the present system make it costly and ineffective at resolving complaints.
Though I thought the local reporting on this issue was accurate, the issue is important and deserves further explanation.
Adopting a “pot ban” ordinance in the city is not about a crusade of ridding the world of pot. It is about a community which has experienced a pot culture for 40 years and saying this is inappropriate for neighborhoods. I would hope our goals are loftier than following a tide which is preying on the weaknesses of others for profit and taxes.
In this Mayor Burton claims “the ad hoc marijuana committee” came back to the Council, Mayor Burton fails to mention that the Willits Marijuana Ad Hoc Committee was appointed by HIMSELF and that he as Mayor ONLY APPOINTED one other person to the committee, Council Member Larry Stranske a longtime prohibitionist who Mayor Burton already knew would ONLY support a BAN on Distribution, Cannabis Enterprises, Cultivation and Growing. Mayor Burton continues… “They also recommended a more streamlined enforcement protocol be implemented. The extended timelines in the present system make it costly and ineffective at resolving complaints.” Again: the “they” Mayor Burton is referring to is none other than himself and Councilman Larry Stranske, both fanatically against Marijuana in any shape or form, Medical or Not. Burton Continues on “Adopting a “pot ban” ordinance in the city is not about a crusade of ridding the world of pot.” Did I hear that correctly….. Mayor Burton is proposing to be the SINGLE City in Mendocino County with a “COMPLETE POT BAN” and he is actually saying it isn’t a crusade?? AND the Mayor wants to “streamline” nuisance complaints which will further strip citizens of rights to “show cause”. Mayor Burton Continues: “It is about a community which has experienced a pot culture for 40 years and saying this is inappropriate for neighborhoods. I would hope our goals are loftier than following a tide which is preying on the weaknesses of others for profit and taxes.” Mayor Burton, who owns the BIGGEST, LOUDEST, DUSTIEST (redwood sawdust is a known carcinogen) STINKIEST industrial Redwood Sawmill in Willits City limits, located in a neighborhood next to Blosser Lane Elementary School is actually telling us that a few Medical Cannabis plants are “inappropriate for neighborhoods”?
Is Mayor Burtons sawdust blowing over Blosser Lane School appropriate for students or neighbors who complain of lung, throat, sinus and asthma problems and infections? Mayor Bruce Burton laments on “preying on the weakness of others for profit and taxes”. Yet as one of Mendocino Counties wealthiest men, a modern day “Redwood Tycoon” Mayor Burton has logged old growth redwood, and contracted with timberland holders, Jackson State Forest, as well as other land owners including his own timber stands to log some of Mendocino Counties nicest standing trees, including very large second and old growth Redwood Groves, which he cuts up and ships and even exports to far away places including asia!
Mayor Burton continues his raving rant: “Willits has acquired an identity we did not seek. Little did our county legislators know that by allowing the subdivision of ranch and timberland in the 70’s, the outcome would be a culture which would define us. I believe most people in the city favor a vision of prosperity outside the marijuana market and who strive to teach their children the same. Now is the time to reinforce the message that regardless of the actions of others, we are committed to building community through positive endeavors which do not chase every dollar regardless of its heritage. We need to attract new teachers and doctors to Willits. We need our children to raise their children here, confident that they are in a culture which prioritizes values over money.”
So Mr Burton, Mayor of Willits; Are you disowning the back to the land movement of the 1970’s for some “good old boy” 1950’s style of living, a 1950’s “heritage” of destroying the environment for profits, the almighty dollar bill? Are you looking back in “hindsight” at the Mendocino Culture as it stands today, judging our neighbors and community members wishing they were “something different”? Are you discriminating against a Mendocino Culture that long preached against deforestation, the destruction of the Redwood Ecosystem, a Mendo Culture which brought Solar Technology to the World, taught us sustainable living practices, and taught the world to “live off the grid”? Is Mayor Burton wishing for another time and place when there were no “back to the landers”, no 40 acre subdivisions, no “living off the grid”? Is he denying that Mendocino Marijuana Culture saved Mendocino County from poverty after large Wall Street backed timber corporations exploited the redwood forests and polluted the Salmon Streams which destroyed the Multi-Million dollar Salmon fishing industry? Are we disowning the fact that Marijuana dollars represent 80% of our local economy, our businesses, restaurants, gas stations, stores and college educations for our children in the Willits Community are payed for with marijuana dollars, not to mention mortgages, car payments…. you want to talk shrinking budgets and a broke Willits City Government, want to talk a vacant downtown and defaulted mortgages…. the bypass and legalization are both coming, what are you Mayor Burton actively doing to protect our economy with the looming changes, Banning Marijuana will only add more insecurities for local businesses, less money for local families.
Mayor Burton, you claim;
“The people I am seeing in Council chambers are not these individuals. They are not living with a neighbor whose garden odor diminishes the use of their property, whose guard dog upsets their serenity, and whose associations threaten their safety.” None of this applies to Willits Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, distributors, clinics, testing labs, cannabis kitchens, or companies seeking to make high tech cannabis products. Most of the “bad players” are not Medicinal Cannabis Patients, there is a big difference! Residents are currently prohibited from growing backyard cannabis and your City Council has already banned dispensaries, where are Medical Cannabis Patients left to obtain their medical marijuana, must they buy it on the black market? Do Medical Marijuana Patients have to go to Ukiah or Fort Bragg or Hopland, these communities all have Medical Marijuana Dispensaries? But if we do buy it, you are promoting a complete ban, this will mean we can’t even drive our legally obtained medicine home from the dispensary we legally bought our medicine from, WHY? Because Mr Burton and Mr Stranske want a “COMPLETE BAN”! Guard dogs? The entire community has dogs because of the burglaries and for protection, dogs are not used solely to protect pot gardens!
Mayor Bruce Burton; You write:
“The State has a new law on the books. While it allows cities to legalize pot (which it really cannot do, only the feds can), it also allows cities to completely prohibit it as well. Since the passage of Prop 215, it has been somewhat unclear what authority cities had to regulate “medical cannabis”. It is now clear we have the right to forbid it completely. Larry Stranske and I feel strongly that this is the right message to send from our community. If the County wishes to embrace it, so be it. I read yesterday, Mendocino County was second in the state for asset seizure. That surely must make reasonable people question the motives of those rules. Remember, seized assets do not go to the general fund of the county, but are split between the agencies enforcing the action.”
Mr Burton; You claim you have the right to “Completely Ban Marijuana”, but Mayor Burton that conflicts with my California State Right to consume medical marijuana as a patient, it conflicts with my 99 plant recommendation from my doctor, I am legally entitled to my medicine, just like any other resident using any other kind of medicine, this is not Nazi Germany! The current city laws prohibiting cannabis from growing in our own homes or outdoors in the sun DIRECTLY conflicts with state law, and we are willing to take the City of Willits to Court if this ban passes. The Municipal Government of Willits CANNOT ban the Medicinal use of medical marijuana, prescribed to me by my licensed physician, you are very misinformed, and litigation for the City is inevitable!
Mayor Bruce Burton Continues his Prejudiced Rant Against Marijuana:
“Willits citizens, go “Google” Willits. See what people are seeing when they first look at our town. Then imagine you are on a panel trying to recruit a doctor to our new hospital and are talking to a young doc, just starting a practice and a family. They have choices all over the country. What are you going to tell them when they ask what kind of community this is? How are the schools? What kind of friends will we have and what influences are their kids going to encounter? Wouldn’t it be preferable to tell them, we are committed to building a community with higher standards than our neighbors and we want our reputation to stand out from the county and perhaps the state? While we certainly recognize people have desires which do not improve the collective good, we are taking a stand to chart another identity for our town and hope it might be a model or haven for others who feel the same. I would dearly love for the City to present a single face on this issue. Based on discussions to date, Holly Madrigal, Madge Strong, and Ron Orenstein seem to prefer some sort of “middle ground.” I believe they are missing the importance of the message. A message of perception. This is not whether people should have medical or recreational pot. This is about the identity of a community and its ability to think independently. I would encourage those who agree with Larry and I to help convince my friends on the Council of the importance of this action. Bruce Burton ~ Willits Mayor
You claim doctors and teachers need to be attracted to Willits, but is it not California Doctors and Physicians who are prescribing Medical Marijuana to patients? Most doctors know Medical Marijuana to be very useful for a number of ailments, it is prescribes to millions of patients across the entire Country! Many Willits teachers and School personnel also consume Medical Marijuana, would these professionals be attracted to move to a city where the “Code Enforcement” trespasses into residents yards, tramples citizens private property rights and busts their neighbors friends and community members which has been happening for the past 20 years since medical marijuana was legal in 1996? Mayor Burton, it is unfortunate for the many, many medical marijuana users in this community, many of them Senior Citizens, many of them patients who were poisoned by the industrial leaks and dumping performed by Remco (which the City of Willits thought of as a Golden Egg until Remco pollution started making the community sick with rare cancers and other ailments) depend on that medicine you are trying to “Completely Ban”, if you looked a little deeper you would find even members of YOUR OWN FAMILY depend on Medicinal Marijuana! Mayor Burton claims: ” This is not whether people should have medical or recreational pot. This is about the identity of a community and its ability to think independently. I would encourage those who agree with Larry and I to help convince my friends on the Council of the importance of this action.”
Mayor Burton, excuse me, but this is COMPLETELY about “whether people should have medical or recreational pot.” The Citizens of Willits are still suffering from ailments from years of Industrial Pollution, mills with toxic burners, remco poisoning, anxieties from chemicals and disinfectants in the Willits drinking water. I expect my Mayor to provide clean drinking water, to pave and repair my streets, provide the freedom for new opportunities which could provide jobs, look for ways to provide incomes for our residents, I expect a Mayor to protect our natural resources and live in a green manner, a Mayor who cherishes the culture of his community, marijuana culture as you claim, or not! You are “out of order” Mr Mayor, isn’t that the term the Mayor uses in Chamber when a speaker is out of line?
The Community is waking up every day, Willits Locals are talking over coffee, many citizens are realizing that a Millionaire Redwood Tycoon does not represent the interests of most people in our community, most of our community is poor, most of our community already depends on cannabis dollars or related enterprise to survive. Mayor Burton, you represent the elite, you represent the wealthy privileged class, normal Willits Citizens do not own Fishing Lodges in Alaska. (Mayor Burton own King Salmon fishing Lodge in Alaska). Ordinary Willits folks could only dream of the wealth you have accumulated by your processing of our Redwood Forest ecosystems. You may be extremely wealthy, you may be the president of the local bank, you may have become king for many years of the “Willits Empire”, but you do not represent this community, your struggles do not reflect the struggles of the rest of us in this Willits Community, your wealth and power have corrupted your heart, spirit and compassion.