Tirade bursts group’s bubble – Record

December 16th, 2011 by admin Leave a reply »

James Benno

James Benno

The director of the local chapter of a nonprofit organization seeking to reform California’s marijuana laws has been booted for his angry outburst during Tuesday’s meeting of the Shasta County Board of Supervisors after they banned medical marijuana dispensaries in the county’s unincorporated areas.

Russ Belville, the Portland-based outreach coordinator for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), said in an apology issued to the supervisors that James Benno of Redding is no longer a representative of NORML.

The chapter also is under suspension, he said.

“They can’t represent us anymore,” Belville said in a telephone conversation with the Record Searchlight. Based in Washington, D.C., the national organization has approximately 150 independent chapters, Belville said.

He declined to say what the local chapter would have to do to have the suspension lifted.

In his apology to supervisors, Belville, cited a Wednesday Record Searchlight editorial.

“While our organization and our opponents (not inferring the board is among them) may have strong disagreements about marijuana laws, nobody benefits if we cannot address our disagreements civilly,” he wrote.

Benno cursed at supervisors as he rose to leave the meeting Tuesday where they were discussing an ordinance they later unanimously adopted to ban marijuana dispensaries in the unincorporated county.

Chairman Les Baugh called for a sheriff’s deputy to restore order as Benno stormed out of the chambers.

“As the officer in charge of approving Mr. Benno’s application, I personally apologize to you all that

Article source: http://www.redding.com/news/2011/dec/15/tirade-bursts-groups-bubble/