Jason Cowan
The Union Democrat

All eight challenged statements submitted proponents of Measure B, the Calaveras County cannabis ban, were either amended or deleted.

According to court documents, seven of the eight statements Bob Bowerman, the petitioner, said were either false or misleading were amended. The eighth was deleted.

The order from Judge Richard Meyer was in response to a suit filed last month to change or delete statements submitted to the Calaveras County Elections Department that supported Measure B. They will accompany polling materials during an all-mail election on May 2.

“They haven’t been speaking the truth on those things. The court just backed that up,” said Bowerman.

He called it a “slam dunk for the public.”

“It was a slam dunk for the truth, and that it’s not OK to provide misleading information on official documents,” he said.

Meyer heard testimony Tuesday. More than half were agreed upon outside of court.

The judge changed one that said regulation brought illegal business to the county from all over the nation to indicate the urgency ordinance increased the amount of cultivation in Calaveras County.

A second modification removed statistics that indicated home values had dropped. The item now says “We believe marijuana cultivation under the urgency ordinance has and will have a negative impact on housing prices in Calaveras County.”

The judge deleted a statement that implied personal cultivators could grow six plants under Proposition 64 as well as an additional three via Measure B and that was “more than anyone needs.”

The five other modifications agreed upon following public discussion between counsel Tuesday include:

• A replacement of the statement that top law enforcement officials support a cannabis ban to some law officials are in favor.

• A change in the phrase Calaveras voters rejected the pro-marijuana ballot measures to voters rejected Measure D, which could be considered a pro-marijuana measure.

• A removal of amounts of money available to fight marijuana and acknowledging “significant” funds are potentially available federally to enforce a ban.

• Modification of the phrase that implores individuals to find a school official that supports cannabis money in schools to “If marijuana money is good for local schools, find a local school official that supports it.”

• Adjustment of a statement that says any conflicts between the ordinance and state law are cleared by a clause in the ordinance to conflicts caused by measure B can be resolved via litigation.

Rebecca Turner, Calaveras County registrar of voters, said Wednesday afternoon the court-ordered changes are the final modifications to the arguments.

Bill McManus, a Measure B proponent, said they’re thrilled with the outcome. The changes were mild, and the message remains the same.

“This is a volatile issue,” McManus said. “We’re completely OK with it. The issue is behind us. We’ll just move on with everything else.”

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