California law says medical marijuana users can grow pot on their own property, but a growing number of cities are telling them to keep it indoors.
Last week, the city of Sacramento became the latest municipality to declare pot gardens a community concern, citing issues including pungent aromas, robberies, shootings and other neighborhood disruption.
“I’ve heard about their individual rights. What about my rights?” said Dennis Hunter, a retiree who has lived for 33 years in the same house — only to be overwhelmed in the fall by a powerful odor from a neighbor’s pot garden.
Bette Braden, 60, offered a different perspective.
Braden grows pot in her yard with the permission of her landlord. She said she has had two hip replacement surgeries and suffers from Crohn’s disease, an intestinal disorder. She called the city’s planned action “the most callous thing I’ve ever heard of.
“I feel for the people at the council meeting who have had allergies to the smell,” said Braden, who said she hasn’t had complaints from neighbors. “But you know what? Perfume bothers me a lot. And I don’t expect everyone not to wear perfume.”
Marijuana advocacy groups have gone to court to challenge restrictions similar to the one proposed by Sacramento, saying they are trumped by California’s 1996 Proposition 215 medical marijuana law and related 2003 legislation.
Court of Appeals
The issue is scheduled for a hearing next month in the 3rd District Court of Appeal. Eight medical users are suing over strict cultivation rules in Tehama County that plaintiffs say make it nearly impossible for many sick people to grow marijuana.
Upheld in Superior Court, Tehama’s ban barred medicinal growing — outdoor and indoor — on small lots within 100 feet of property lines and 1,000 feet of schools.
Outdoor growing on residential lots has emerged as a contentious issue around the state.
In Butte County, voters in June overturned cultivation restrictions that banned indoor and outdoor marijuana growing on half-acre lots or smaller and set growing restrictions for larger parcels.
And in Sonoma County, tensions over backyard growing boiled over in an aggressive police response. In September, local and federal officers in military gear set off flash grenades during raids on 32 residential gardens in a single Santa Rosa neighborhood. Police said the raids targeted illegal gang and drug activity. Marijuana advocates protested that the sweeps also hit legitimate medical patients.
“The neighborhood was shell-shocked,” said Dale Gieringer, California director of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana laws.
Ryan Landers, a Sacramento medical marijuana advocate with advanced stage AIDS, argues that local governments should target bad-acting growers — not ailing patients.
Landers, 40, who says he needs large doses of cannabis to boost his appetite and quell searing pain, plants marijuana late in the growing season and ties his plants down sideways to keep them from growing over a residential fence.
He explained that indoor plants produce a small fraction of the outdoor yield, even with multiple indoor growing cycles compared to one outdoor season.
Other advocates say indoor gardens cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to set up — with wiring, insulation and lights — and spike utility bills.
News Hawk- TruthSeekr420 420 MAGAZINE
Author: Scripps Howard News Service
Contact: Herald and News: Contact
Website: Medical marijuana cultivation sparks community discord - Herald and News: Inside News