by Tom Gogola
News that the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup was returning to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds June 28-29 hadn’t yet reached David Rabbitt by Thursday morning, even as the event rolls into the playground, err, fairground, next weekend.
“It seemed to be successful, so it doesn’t surprise me,” says Rabbitt, the 2nd District Sonoma County Supervisor and its board president.
But…what of the quasi-legality of this whole California marijuana dance with dispensaries and lurching law enforcement, on the county fairgrounds, no less?
“The state, obviously and beyond the state, the U.S. has not come to grips with what it wants to do with marijuana,” Rabbitt says.
Rabbitt strongly supports medical marijuana and applauds self-regulation efforts at dispensaries. On legalization for recreational use, he says, “I think we’re heading in that direction.”
Rabbitt describes a libertarian, pro-individual-rights tendency to support legalization, and “doesn’t want to be a hypocrite on alcohol.”
Some of his main concerns are with law enforcement, and protecting kids and the environment.
“It’s a tough one,” he says as he warns of a persistent economy of “illegal growers on public and private lands.”
Locally, he is concerned about pop-up dispensaries and places where “it’s legal with some question marks going out the back door.”
Dispensary supervision could be tighter he says, but the supervisor says the bigger issue than recreational or medical use is, “What’s the cost to society when it’s grown on denuded mountain?”
“Until we legalize and regulate it, we really can’t deal with that. Go ahead and legalize and tax the hell out of it to pay for the programs to monitor the issues. … There will always be growers or operators flying under the radar.
“Like most counties, we try to do the right thing,” Rabbitt continued. “Certainly with medical marijuana—far be it for us to deny anyone their medicine.”
The Cannibus Medical Cup features many buds getting together, including jam band Moe, and offers products and services, devices and totemic relics you might associate with certain persons of the varying degrees of the whole sort of pot-smoking persuasion, but never at dusk.
“It is incumbent upon the operators and whoever is putting on the show to adhere to the laws,” Rabbitt says.
“Law enforcement, if called, will enforce the laws on the book. That’s what they are sworn to do.”
He recalled 2013’s Cannabis Cup event as a peaceful, “no negative feedback” affair.
“Last year, I don’t remember it being a problem,” says the supervisor.