by David Downs
Just in time for spring planting, on Tuesday, March 26, the Concord City Council has scheduled a final hearing and vote on a local ordinance to ban all outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana.
“Outdoor medical marijuana cultivation poses the potential threat of criminal harm as well as interference with the welfare of surrounding property owners,” the city wrote in its background on the issue. The plants “emit offensive 'skunk like' fumes', which can interfere with the use and enjoyment of neighboring properties”.
Yes, state law permits medical pot growing, the city found, but “no court has held that state legislation guarantees the right to cultivate marijuana outdoors.”
Sure it's a plant, but it doesn't NEED the sun, the city attorney argues.
Concord's ban will be similar to Moraga's. Concord already has a ban on dispensaries.
The city may get sued if it bans outdoor growing, the city report states, and Concord won't be able to penalize outdoor ban violators with criminal penalties. Remedies will be limited to civil enforcement.
This is all of a piece with one of the latest flashpoints in medical marijuana law. About fifty California cities and counties have outdoor bans, or varying limits on cultivation, CA NORML reports. To challenge such bans, lawyers say medical pot growers are going to have to defy them, suffer the consequences, and sue for relief.