VISALIA – Now that recreational marijuana is legal, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office felt it was time to tie up some loose ends when it comes to their drug enforcement. Their latest adjustment was aimed at party hosts.
On Jan. 23 the Tulare County Board of Supervisors approved a social host ordinance that holds hosts responsible for underage alcohol or marijuana consumption in their house or other private property. According to a TCSO report presented to the Board, the ordinance is designed to confront and mitigate the prevalent problem of underage illegal drinking and drug use and loud or unruly gatherings. It went on to say the ordinance gives law enforcement the discretion to classify violations as either misdemeanors or infractions, to hold people responsible for gathering where alcohol or marijuana is served.
Chairman Steve Worthley clarified that parents would not be responsible if their child had the party without their parent’s consent and while they weren’t home. Instead whoever threw the party where underage alcohol and marijuana was being used would be held responsible. And Worthley added that impromptu parties are more likely now with the prevalence of social media.
“The way the world has changed with social media, one guy invited a couple of friends and then those guys invite a couple of their friends and then the guy who thought he was just going to have a couple of his friends over has a party now…it’s just a different world,” Worthley said.
The ordinance passed unanimously and is only applied to those living in the County not those living in incorporated cities within the County.