Planners To Review Marijuana Ordinance

Planners To Review Marijuana Ordinance
Posted by CN Staff on March 30, 2005 at 10:44:02 PT
By David Edwards, The Daily Journal
Source: Ukiah Daily Journal 
California -- As medical marijuana proponents nationwide hold their breath in anticipation of a Supreme Court ruling, the city of Ukiah is plunging ahead with a groundbreaking marijuana ordinance.The Ukiah Planning Commission has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed ordinance for April 13. That will bring renewed attention and scrutiny to the multifaceted law.
Local lawmakers want to nudge pot growers into parts of the city specifically zoned for commercial activity. If the ordinance passes, backyard and other outdoor residential marijuana gardens would be illegal.Several citizens have complained to the council about abuse of Proposition 215, the California law that permits the cultivation and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Council members have heard examples of Ukiah residents who flout the law for profit. The business potential of growing marijuana might explain the city's efforts to restrict cultivation to commercial zones. But representatives of the Northern California chapter of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws have countered that the ordinance goes too far.They say the city has not struck a balance between providing for patients and pulling the plug on profiteers. At the last public discussion of city marijuana policy, two Northern California NORML representatives hinted that a lawsuit would follow if the city enacted the ordinance as currently written. But with Supreme Court justices preparing to rule in a Bay Area pot case, the Ukiah ordinance could be magnified in the wake of a landmark decision. An organization called the Drug Policy Alliance issued a press release Monday saying a ruling is imminent in the case of Raich v. Ashcroft.That case was brought by two California patients, and it challenges the federal government's refusal to recognize marijuana as medicine. In essence, federal drug laws conflict with those in the 10 states that permit medical marijuana.If the Supreme Court rules for the two California patients, "their victory may dramatically redraw the lines of federal police powers and further empower states and their individual citizens," the Drug Policy Alliance's Daniel Abrahamson wrote.On the other hand, if the justices reject the patients' argument, "the status quo will almost certainly prevail," and "as a practical matter, the average medical marijuana patient in compliance with their state law will have little to fear from the federal police."The status quo may not prevail in Ukiah, however. A handful of local medical marijuana users have told The Daily Journal they support the city's proposed ordinance.City Attorney David Rapport said regulating the cultivation of marijuana in California is a tricky proposition. He does not know of any other city that is trying to use zoning laws to put growers in their place, wherever that happens to be.Because the ordinance involves land-use decisions, the Planning Commission gets a look at it. Commissioners can make changes or suggestions, and in two weeks the public will have another chance to comment on the ordinance. Ultimately, though, the buck stops at the council.At the urging of one of the council members, Rapport wrote a provision into the ordinance that absolves the city from responsibility if an otherwise compliant grower falls victim to federal prosecution."We've kind of built an out into the ordinance," he said. "The ordinance is not intended to authorize anything that's prohibited under federal law."As for the built-in lawsuit potential, Rapport said the dearth of applicable case law in California clouds interpretation of a crucial part of Proposition 215. That means Ukiah's ordinance could inspire a test case of state law.Not until the medical marijuana spotlight leaves the nine robed figures in Washington, D.C., though."If Raich goes (in favor of) the feds, the city could argue the ordinance is still more flexible than federal law," Rapport said. "There hasn't been any test of using zoning authority to regulate cultivation. We'll see. It would be a real interesting lawsuit." Note: Public hearing scheduled for April 13. Source: Ukiah Daily Journal (CA)Author: David Edwards, The Daily JournalPublished: Wednesday, March 30, 2005Copyright: 2005 Ukiah Daily JournalContact: udj pacific.netWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Drug Policy Alliance California NORML Angel Raich v. Ashcroft News Marijuana on Trial of Medical Marijuana Law Targeted Really Consider Cannabis My Miracle
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #5 posted by Treeanna on March 31, 2005 at 07:03:46 PT
They can't do it
City laws cannot conflict with State laws.They have no authority to try and change the effects of Prop 215 or SB 420. Thereby, they cannot limit the ability of qualified patients and caregivers to grow MMJ in the city limits.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by Had Enough on March 31, 2005 at 05:51:21 PT
For Max Flowers
Yes. The City Commission, City Counsel, or whatever the city has set up by their charter, can pass ordinances that apply only in their city limits. They have to do this with public input. Whether they listen to the public or not can become another subject that people post and lurk here are well aware of. Most of the time they have their decisions already made, and the public comment portion is just an exercise. But sometimes they do listen and respond accordingly.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by mayan on March 30, 2005 at 18:24:47 PT
Already A Part Of It
At the urging of one of the council members, Rapport wrote a provision into the ordinance that absolves the city from responsibility if an otherwise compliant grower falls victim to federal prosecution."We've kind of built an out into the ordinance," he said. "The ordinance is not intended to authorize anything that's prohibited under federal law."Please, show some balls. By recognizing and "regulating" 215 you are already authorizing something that's prohibited under federal law. The people of California made it perfectly clear that the sick should have access to medical cannabis. Are you going to abide by the Constitutionally protected Prop. 215 or by the whims of the corrupted,criminal federal goverenment? You can only sit on the fence for so long until your trousers tear.Sorry if these have been posted...Green rush - S.F. cracks down on the proliferation of marijuana clubs: THE DOWN-LOW - Medicinal-pot dispensaries open up and keep quiet: Clinic Raid Raises Concerns: WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...Rescue Worker Drops New 9/11 Revelations: 15 reasons to doubt the official story of 9/11: Was an Inside Job - A Call to All True Patriots:
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by Max Flowers on March 30, 2005 at 17:31:37 PT
Can they do that?
This doesn't seem right. I sure ain't no lawyer, but I would certainly think that a state law would naturally overrule a city ordinance. If a state law allows a citizen to grow medical cannabis for his own use in his own home (or back yard), I don't see how a city ordinance can take away that right.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by FoM on March 30, 2005 at 11:01:14 PT
HT: Reefer Madness Newspapers 
Iíve been able to locate about 200 new Reefer Madness Era (1930ís 1940ís) newspaper articles. They have already been added to the (well over a thousand) other newspaper clippings already in the museumís collection.  If anyone is interested in them please let me know (note, I will have to ask for a buck to pay for the CD-rom + postage etc.) and I can send them to you.Note, at this time I am still index-ing them but this should be done within a few more days.Andrew Garret,
Museum Curator
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment