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Cloverdale Latest City to Ban Medical Pot Clubs, Gardens


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Cloverdale on Wednesday became the fifth city in Sonoma County to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, citing the risk of crime and other problems associated with pot clubs.Following the lead of two cities in nearby Mendocino County, the Cloverdale City Council also banned outdoor medicinal marijuana gardens.

"Outdoor cultivation is just asking for problems," City Councilwoman Carol Russell said, reflecting the views of fellow council members who heard about trespassing marijuana thieves and barking guard dogs that keep neighbors awake at night.

"We are protecting kids here and other people from these dangers," Russell said.

Council members said they also want to reduce the number of complaints associated with the strong odor from budding plants, which was a factor in decisions by Ukiah and Willits to outlaw outdoor pot gardens.

Medical marijuana users could still grow plants indoors and officials said they could obtain pot from other dispensaries, including at least two that make home deliveries.

On a 4-0 vote, the council tentatively approved the ordinance. Councilman Gus Wolter was absent. A final vote is likely to be taken at the council's next meeting.

Four cities in Sonoma County -- Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Windsor and Healdsburg -- have banned marijuana dispensaries over the last year.

Sonoma adopted a moratorium, but it has since expired. Santa Rosa and Sebastopol allow a maximum of two dispensaries and Cotati allows one.

Sonoma County allows dispensaries within urbanized areas of the unincorporated county. Currently there is one in Guerneville and one south of the Santa Rosa city limits.

Medical marijuana advocates say more dispensaries are needed and that they can operate without problems if there is strict management.

California voters approved the use of marijuana for medical reasons with a doctor's recommendation in 1996, but left it to individual cities and counties to develop regulations as to how much people can possess and grow.

In Mendocino County, there has been a backlash against a law passed by voters in 2000 that decriminalized cultivation of up to 25 pot plants for personal use. Critics said that attracted crime and made the county a haven for pot growers. A repeal measure is on the June ballot.

Federal law prohibits any marijuana use, which has created a dilemma for local officials. Cloverdale Police Chief Mark Tuma said local police are sometimes asked to assist federal agents on pot raids and it poses an ethical conflict for police to facilitate a dispensary.

City Councilman Joe Palla, a former chief of police, said officers take an oath to enforce all laws, including federal and state laws.

The Cloverdale Police Department strongly urged the council to ban dispensaries and outdoor marijuana gardens.

Source: The Press Democrat
Copyright: 2008 The Press Democrat
Contact: clark.mason@pressdemocrat.com
Website: http://www1.pressdemocrat.com/apps/pbcs.dll/frontpage


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It may not be a bad idea to ban outdoor growing at least for now and for dispenseries, do deliveries, work it out. If out door cultivation is causing problems then for now take it indoors untill there is a rational solution. We have to work together on every issue. as far as the dispenseries,why not start up classes and teach how to grow! Do deliveries untill it is resolved!
Come on now, if we want freedom it has to be for everyone. as for the local law helping federal law when there is clearly a violation if local law enforcement assist in arresting, harrassing, molesting, anything but protecting the citicens of the county they are sworn to protect, especially when they are very aware that local law enforcement is not to assit the federal agents in anything to do with medical marijuana when it is clearly under the local law guidelines!
That is all there is to that. If it is differnt, please let me know because I will move out of this country imediately if this is not true!
I think that when a law enforcement agent breaks the law, they should have to pay double penaltys because they know better moreso than the general public!
Let Freedom Rule!


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Cloverdale is a small, semi-isolated town full of rednecks. It doesn't surprise me that they have outlawed pot clubs and outdoor growing. In Sonoma County we have two clubs in Santa Rosa, one in Guerneville and one in Sebastopol. The two I am familiar with are run very professionally, with total cooperation from the city and police. Sebastopol even has a yearly Cannabis Harvest Festival. Cloverdale's anti-pot policy has more to do with flag-waving, hippie-hating cowboys than anything else.


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I suggest they start using delivery services. There are plenty of caregivers who will deliver. I don't understand who and why would anyone need a dispensery that they must go to, usually drive to and the cost should not be much more than buying it from a club. You guys there in cloverdale need to work it out amongst yourselves. This should not be such an issue as to cause panic or dissmay. Everyone needs to pull together. If you live in cloverdale and you are not sure what to do, post here and someone will help you figure things out. The MMMAB can probably give you some help.
Thats the Mendocino Medical Marijuana Advisory Board There are some very intelligent people who know the laws and they know how to get things acomplished. I have no idea if they can or will do anything in cloverdale or if that is part of ther jurisdiction but you can certainly call and ask.
Like I said in an earlier post, the people of cloverdale are the ones that really need to take action.
Timmothy S
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