‘An honest mistake’: Measure D proponent weighs in on billboard controversy

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – The lead proponent for Measure D said she was sorry after a billboard last week displayed a photo of uniformed Kern County detention deputies without their permission, and shifted blame to the billboard company.

Located at the intersection of Pacheco Road and Stine Road, the Yes on Measure D sign last week displayed a photo of uniformed Kern County detention deputies backing Measure D. Deputies also were seen in an online “Yes on D” advertisement.

However, the Kern County Detention Officers Association (KCDOA) did not endorse the measure, and demanded the sign be taken down.

“That was an honest mistake,” said Cecelia Latu , president of the Central Valley Cannabis Association, the group sponsoring the measure. She said the sign has been taken down, and the billboard company, Lamar Advertising, is to blame.

“The billboard company was supposed to use a stock photo, but actually used photos of detention officers instead. We do not claim to be endorsed by the detention officers. It was a mistake, it was an honest mistake,” Latu stated.

Measure D is one of two medicinal cannabis measures on the March ballot. The other is measure E. Each seeks to legalize and regulate the sale of medicinal cannabis in Kern County.

The county-backed Measure E would allow new dispensaries to open while measure d seeks to allow dispensaries that were open only before 2018.

Furthermore, the county-backed Measure E will implement a 3.5 percent tax, while Measure D will implement a 3.75 percent tax.

Latu hopes to put the billboard ordeal behind her.

“We don’t want to deceive the public. That’s not what we’re here for. We’re here to pass regulations for Kern County medicinal cannabis. That’s it,” she concluded.

*KGET reached out to the billboard company for statement, but did not hear back by news time.

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