Sheriff’s Message, Week of November 20th
An old adage wrongfully attributed to Winston Churchill states a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. What he did say was “For myself I am an optimist—it does not seem to be much use being anything else….” A life filled with optimism produces less life stresses, which has shown to prevent chronic disease, and helped people live longer, happier, and more productive lives. The recent election results, regardless of the chosen candidate or ballot question has produced many pessimists on both sides; I however, have chosen to be an optimist.
In a civil case that originated in Moundhouse over a denied gun sale to a medical marijuana card holder, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in September of this year that the marijuana card applicant was not allowed to purchase the gun from the dealer, and the dealer was right in denying the sale. This is a very liberal court; however, they have established case law in that no firearm transfers can be made to marijuana users.
The ATF is updating their background check form to include a warning that medicinal and recreational use of marijuana is illegal for gun transfers. Sometime in January 2017, a new ATF form will be used with the new warning. Our new state law mandates transfer background checks, in which firearm buyers have to answer questions, including the marijuana question. Answer truthfully and the transfer is denied; lie on the question and they could be prosecuted for a federal crime; transfer the gun without a background check conducted by a licensed FFL dealer, it is a gross misdemeanor under the new state law.
We are working with our District Attorney’s Office in the development of a county ordinance for vehicle marijuana prohibitions, similar to the open alcohol container laws. If approved by our commissioners, the ordinance can be enacted long before our state legislature can pass a law to help improve road safety.
The provision in the new law prohibiting marijuana cultivation within a 25 mile radius around retail marijuana establishments is causing concern in group of marijuana growers. In fact, they are already talking about passing another petition to eliminate the 25 mile rule. We believe county zoned retail marijuana establishments can stabilize crime rates by minimizing home invasions and burglaries associated with home grows and stored cash from illegal sales through regulated and controlled cultivation facilities and retail establishments.
There has been some citizens asking us to retire our K-9, Deputy Bo because of the new marijuana law. Deputy Bo is trained for the detection of marijuana, and we still need him in our schools detecting marijuana products to help deter the drug from coming on campuses. Marijuana is still illegal for person under 21 to possess, he can assist us in other criminal investigations, and he is more than just a drug do; he is a dog that can apprehend criminals and help protect our deputies on the street. We will not be retiring him.
And finally, one of our local manufacturing companies, Trex, recently donated $5,000 to the Lyon Sheriff Advisory Council (LSAC) in support of our canine program. We wanted to thank them for their support in helping to make our community stronger and safer.
As always, keep the faith.