by David Downs
Last year we said bans on any and all medical marijuana cultivation were going to be a defining trend of 2014.
That trend continued last night when the five city councilmembers of the East Bay city of Martinez unanimously voted to ban medical marijuana patients from growing even a single pot plant in their backyard, KTVU reports.
The ban exposes patients with cancer, AIDS, and other serious illnesses to police searches and fines, jacks up the cost of medication from $5 per ounce to $450, and forces the sick to travel long distances to obtain the herbal remedy from licensed dispensaries. Critics of growing cite the plant's odor and the potential for theft.
Martinez has also banned dispensaries, but continues to be served by unlicensed, unregulated delivery services. The ban is also a gift to black market pot dealers and growers who will continue to flout the ban in order to serve the increased customer base caused by the ban.
Martinez joins Concord as the second East Bay city to ban outdoor. San Pablo may be next.