Ukiah Seeks To Limit Medical Pot

Ukiah Seeks To Limit Medical Pot
Posted by CN Staff on January 21, 2005 at 09:25:07 PT
By Glenda Anderson
Source: Press Democrat
Ukiah -- Cracking down on cannabis cultivation in a county with a pot-friendly reputation, the Ukiah City Council on Wednesday night tentatively approved an ordinance prohibiting backyard marijuana gardens.Mendocino County's ubiquitous pot gardens have prompted concerns about theft and other criminal activity while generating complaints about the strong, skunk-like odor of blossoming marijuana plants.
Council members voted 4-0 in favor of the draft ordinance, which will next be subject to a hearing in front of the Ukiah Planning Commission.The ordinance would:Require a city permit to grow marijuana and limit growers to six plants in residential areas.Require all marijuana to be grown indoors.Require criminal background checks for people who grow marijuana for others.Establish designated nonresidential areas where more than six plants would be allowed.The measure must return to the City Council for final approval after the Planning Commission hearing.Sonoma, Mendocino and several other counties have adopted guidelines for growing marijuana since voters approved Proposition 215, the 1996 ballot initiative that legalized medical use of marijuana.But Ukiah is believed to be the second California city to consider restrictions on where it can be grown.Dale Gieringer of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, an pro-pot advocacy group, said San Diego is the only other city he knows that has placed limits on cultivation. It requires that medical marijuana be grown in a contained, secure area, he said.However, Willits and Fresno are in the process of drafting ordinances limiting medical marijuana gardens.The Ukiah council session Wednesday drew only three people, two of whom opposed the proposed ordinance and one who spoke in favor.Council members said the ordinance is intended to combat crime, including armed robberies, that police have blamed on medical marijuana growers with easily accessible gardens.There are about 250 backyard medical marijuana gardens within the city, according to the Ukiah Police Department.Proposition 215 "has turned out to be a disaster," Councilman Phil Baldwin said. He called it "a support system for growers and dealers."Law enforcement agencies also contend drug dealers are using the medical marijuana law as cover.Ukiah's ordinance has drawn support from Marvin Lehrman, a local medical marijuana activist who said it shouldn't be grown in residential areas.But some marijuana advocates have complained about the Ukiah ordinance.Because most marijuana already was grown inside in San Diego, Gieringer said his organization doesn't consider its ordinance an undue hardship.However, he said, "Mendocino has always been an outdoor growing kind of county."Growing indoors can be a hardship for sick people on fixed incomes who may not be able to afford the required equipment, Dane Wilkins of Northern California chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws told council members.He offered to help make the draft ordinance a document that would address the crime problem while preserving the rights of the people who really need it."Yes, there is abuse of the system," Wilkins said. But "you have to consider the legitimate users too."Sidebar: Cracking Down:Draft ordinance would limit growing of medical marijuana in Ukiah.Ukiah apparently would be second city in state with restrictions on growing.Ukiah police report about 250 backyard medical marijuana gardens are in the city.Willits in process of drafting a similar ordinance. Note: Council backs plan to require permits for gardens, ban backyard operations.Source: Press Democrat, The (CA)Author: Glenda Anderson, The Press DemocratPublished: Thursday, January 20, 2005Copyright: 2005 The Press DemocratContact: letters pressdemo.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:California NORML Looks at Restrictions on Pot Growing Pot Causing Stink in Mendocino County Pot Odors Wafting in Valley
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #2 posted by afterburner on January 21, 2005 at 22:19:19 PT
Are We on the Same Planet!?!?!?
"Ukiah City Council on Wednesday night tentatively approved an ordinance prohibiting backyard marijuana gardens. ... The ordinance would: Require all marijuana to be grown indoors." Meanwhile, Canadian LEO's foam at the mouth over the "threat" of indoor "grow-ops." Prohibition is the source of all the complaints, causing higher prices enticing criminals. A community medical cannabis garden could overcome the smell pollution argument, but only if the price falls to vegetable level to discourage theft. The DEA policy of interdiction to drive up the price *causes* the crime problem!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on January 21, 2005 at 10:09:47 PT
Ah, I get it...
To protect outdoor growers from being robbed, we'll just ban outdoor growing.Isn't that the same as robbing ALL of the growers at once? Some protection scheme.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment