The Lassen County Board of Supervisors voted to place Measure “M” on the November ballot. Measure “M” asks the voters of Lassen whether or not they are in favor of commercial cannabis business operations in the county and would allow those operations to be taxed. I am concerned with the potential risks to the funds received by the local schools if this measure passes.
I was elected and charged with being legally and fiscally responsible to look out for the future of our students. The schools in Lassen County receive federal, state and local funds and those funds are co-mingled with funds that are received by Lassen County. Currently all funds are invested together in order to maximize the investment earnings.
While medical marijuana is legal in most U.S. states, it remains illegal under federal law, and is currently labeled a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Anyone who provides services to a legal marijuana business faces possible criminal prosecution for “aiding and abetting” a federal crime and money laundering. Knowingly accepting and depositing proceeds from cannabis could put your taxpayer dollars, that are used to provide important public services, at risk.
Should Measure “M” pass, I will be requesting that the Lassen County Board of Supervisor’s remove all Lassen County Schools and Lassen Community College funds to a separate bank account, and separate EIN number and pay for any and all costs incurred to complete this task.
This will significantly reduce Lassen County’s investment revenue, since the majority of the funds that are held and invested come from the coffers of the county schools. It will also reduce the liquid dollars that can be “borrowed” against during the year, when cash flow to the county is limited.
Measure “M” is not just about a source of revenue for the county — yes, we do need additional revenue — it is about not having legal mechanisms in place to accept money derived from this enterprise.
Lassen County children deserve leaders who do not walk the grey line between “legal and illegal.”