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Gridley Council Wants Input On Medical Marijuana

Herb Fellow

New Member
Following a very detailed report by City Attorney Brant Bordsen on medical marijuana, at the request of Mayor Jerry Fichter at the last meeting, council members elected to hear concerns of the people of Gridley at their next meeting, February 4, 2008.

Mayor Fichter had asked Bordsen to research other towns and how they handle the medical marijuana issue.

Bordsen started off by stating, "Under federal law, the cultivation of marijuana is illegal. Under California law the cultivation of marijuana is illegal - except for personal medical marijuana use if recommended by a physician.

"California legislature, after the passing of the Proposition, set up quantative limits of 8 ounces or six mature or 12 immature plants per person.

"Federal law states there are no exceptions.

"This depends on local jurisdiction. Even though it is a state law you can take control under zoning ordinance where it can be produced.

"Chief Storne and I put together a dispensary location ordinance. There are a lot of hoops they (growers) would have to jump through. In my research into what other cities have done, checking with the League of California Cities, the range can be from completely not allowed to controlled.

"There is no clear path to resolve conflict. If you took the positive, as in, it's a crime - we will pass an ordinance and you will be in litigation from those who want to keep it alive. Some day the Feds will say no medical marijuana and no city will be taking it on," he said.

"In Ukiah, nothing is planted outdoors, nothing within the city limits. That ordinance was passed two months ago. You do have zoning powers if you want to use them. There is no clear pattern. You could hold a public hearing and develop an ordinance. There is no sense to develop prohibition ordinance if that is not where you want to go."

Councilman Bruce Johnson suggested the matter be put on the next meeting's agenda with a public hearing. "We need to do something to see what citizens want. I kind of like the idea they have to grow in certain area.

"We had a visitor last meeting. I'm in the same neighborhood and I have to smell it. Shouldn't they have to smell it inside their house? I'd like to see what the public wants.

Bordsen asked council to let them know what direction they would like to proceed. "If we declare property is illegal, order that any plant we see will get cut down and burned - or - We are not declaring medical marijuana illegal, but want to declare how and where it is grown."

He continued, "Because there is no clear path, I'm not making any recommendations. You could be completely neutral and say perhaps it will work itself out."

Councilman Frank Hall stated he was concerned with the safety issue. "Guys are out there with guns guarding it. Somebody is going to get shot."

Bordsen agreed by stating, "It is a very valuable asset that can attract criminal acts."

Johnson ended the discussion by stating, "I would like people to be able to participate and see its importance to the people of Gridley and if they want to say 'yes, we want to stop it,' or, 'yes we want to grow it."

City residents will have the opportunity to discuss their concerns with council members at the February 4, 2008 meeting beginning at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

Source: The Gridley Herald
Copyright: 2008, The Gridley Herald
Contact: Lisa Van De Hey
Website: The Gridley Herald - News
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