A new ordinance is almost ready for final approval by the city. The recent ordinance, if passed, would prevent medical marijuana patients from cultivating their own plants for personal use in their home.
Our Los Angeles marijuana lawyers know that even if state law allows individual patients to grow marijuana, it may be usurped by local ordinances that take that right away.
This bill, if passed, would be by far the most anti-marijuana law in the county. The San Pablo city council voted unanimously in early March to go forward with the local ordinance which defines growing marijuana plants as a public nuisance.
In addition, the City Council has reaffirmed the existing ban on medicinal cannabis dispensaries. If the ordinance is approved it will go into effect in 30 days.
Ordinances such as this one reflect the varying and complicated landscape of marijuana regulation in the State of California. Almost 20 years since state voters legalized marijuana for all of California, many individual jurisdictions have decided to ban its delivery, cultivation sale.
Fresno County and the City of Live Oak have passed similar bands in recent months. Concord passed an ordinance banning outdoor cultivation last year. Supporters of these bands site increased violence and crime related to the cultivation of marijuana.
Police claim that many do not see the link between marijuana and violence. One officer explains that his last arrest involved a man who possessed a handgun and marijuana.
Interestingly, this arrest occurred on the street and not in someone’s home. Many say the link is missing between street crime and the home cultivation of marijuana plants by medical users.
The new ordinance is not supported by all residents of the city. One concerning aspect for many citizens is that this new law may more readily give law enforcement officials access to someone’s home on the basis of odors reported by other residents.
This could be a bold statutory expansion of the “plain sniff” doctrine that could negatively affect citizens’ privacy. Some residents are concerned that allowing police to enter a home based only on the word of a neighbor is a slippery slope and ripe for abuse.
California protects the right of medical marijuana patients and their caregivers to grow up to 12 marijuana plants for medicinal purposes. Unfortunately, the Court of Appeals has upheld Live Oak’s ban on marijuana growth but that case is being appealed to the Supreme Court of California.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.
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