Calaveras May Not Be Able to Pay for a Marijuana Ban

As Calaveras County supervisors mull a ban on marijuana, they’re faced with one glaring problem: a lack of money to pay for it. In the event of prohibition, most of the money in the county’s reserve and treasury accounts would be off limits for enforcement, County Administrative Officer Tim Lutz has told the Calaveras Enterprise.

This differs significantly from the account recently given by Supervisor Dennis Mills. At a hearing last month, he said the county had $30.3 million in reserves and $127 million in its investment portfolio available for use in the event of prohibition.

As it turns out, it’s not so simple.

…a significant portion of the money from both funds is designated to certain purposes outside of cannabis enforcement, said Lutz in a phone interview.

The $127 million in the investment portfolio is made up by funds for a list of organizations, Lutz said. They range from special and school district funds and those intended for other various districts.

The $30.3 million in the designated fund account is applied in the budget should a program need it, Lutz said. Generally, the money can only be used for specific purposes. 

Lutz said about $12.5 million could be used freely from reserves by the county to enforce cannabis policy. That was what the county had in its General Fund and Teeter accounts.

Mills countered that it’s a matter of priorities. To shore up funds, he suggested the county also impose a $500-per-plant fee on illegal farmers.


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