Emergency Marijuana Limits Considered

Emergency Marijuana Limits Considered
Posted by CN Staff on April 24, 2005 at 19:51:33 PT
Local News
Source: Ukiah Daily Journal
Ukiah, California -- The Ukiah City Council is gearing up to pass temporary limits on medical marijuana growing and will consider a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries in town.While the Ukiah Planning Commission continues to work on permanent regulations over growing medical marijuana in the city, the council has asked staff to come back to it in May with emergency regulations that would go into effect right away.
"The council did agree unanimously to have staff bring back an urgency ordinance that will limit marijuana growing to no more than six plants per parcel and they will have to be indoors," said Councilman John McCowen, who put the urgency matter on last Wednesday's agenda. He added that "indoors" could include an outdoor greenhouse or a separate garage on the parcel."It doesn't have to be within a main structure," McCowen said.According to the councilman, the city is well within its rights legally to pass such measures. "The city attorney said that we have broad authority to protect the public health and safety and that we could ban marijuana growing completely," he said.McCowen also says the city's reason for regulating medical marijuana growing is to protect the health and safety of the citizens of Ukiah. During the growing season of 2004 there were numerous complaints to the local Air Quality District office about the odors of marijuana, and the police department had to deal with at least a couple of serious incidents of people trying to steal marijuana from others' back yards, one of which resulted in a shooting.McCowen quoted Prop. 215 itself: "Nothing in this section shall be construed to supersede legislation prohibiting persons from engaging in conduct that endangers others." "The way I interpret that is if we feel outdoor growing of marijuana ... endangers others, we can regulate," he said. McCowen acknowledged this move by the city may invite a court challenge but said that doesn't bother him."If I'm going to err, it's going to be on the side of protecting the health and safety of people, " he said.He said he knows some growers say forcing growing indoors is a fire hazard, but feels permitting growing in a detached greenhouse addresses that.As for higher electric rates for growers, "I don't know what the cost is; what I do know is that the great majority of people growing, quote, medical marijuana, are not in compliance with Prop. 215," he said. "The reality is that what is called medical marijuana is sold for the same price as illegally grown marijuana," he said. Under Prop. 215, McCowen says, no one is allowed to grow medical marijuana for profit and he believes that may lead to a closer look at some of the dispensaries in town.He said he has requested a discussion by the City Council on an upcoming agenda to consider a moratorium on new dispensaries.Meanwhile, even if the urgency ordinance is adopted, the Planning Commission will continue to work to come up with a set of city regulations."I'm very open to considering constructive suggestions on how we can provide for the public health and safety and the rights of legitimate medical marijuana users," he said. Source: Ukiah Daily Journal (CA)Published: Saturday, April 23, 2005Copyright: 2005 Ukiah Daily JournalContact: udj pacific.netWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Northern California NORML Plan To Control Pot Grows Criticized Seeks To Limit Medical Pot Looks at Restrictions on Pot Growing
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