Pubdate: Tue, 11 Jan 2011
Source: Anderson Valley Post (CA)
Copyright: 2011 The E.W. Scripps Co.
Author: George L. Winship
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


After a couple of false starts last year and this, it was gratifying 
to finally see the Anderson City Council working together with city 
staffers as a cohesive team when faced with the tough decision they 
eventually made on the cultivation of medical marijuana.

Granted, the council and the general public still have one more 
opportunity to debate the issue when the city's proposed ordinance 
comes up for a second reading Tuesday, Jan. 18.

If no further changes are made, the very stringent ordinance will go 
into effect 30 days later, by Feb. 18.

While the ordinance does allow some very limited cultivation of 
medical marijuana under the guidelines set forth by the 1996 
Compassionate Use Act, it also sends a strong message that wanton, 
widespread and visible evidence of marijuana cultivation is neither 
desired nor will it be tolerated within the city limits of Anderson.

Backyard and indoor growing, at least in residential units, will no 
longer be allowed in any form due to the odor, nuisance and safety 
concerns that such growing creates for nearby children as well as 
adult neighbors.

That should put a stop as well to the reckless and unwanted 
trespassing on private property that occurs when outdoor grows are 
too visible and easily accessed by reaching across a neighbor's fence.

While card-carrying and properly vetted medical marijuana patients 
will face some additional expenses if they want to take the trouble 
to grow their own medicine, the very sound and reasonable 
restrictions limiting such grows to an outbuilding that meets city 
construction codes with proper setbacks, a lockable door, venting 
system, electricity and a security system should keep the medical 
marijuana out of sight while reducing any possible smells associated 
with the growing, harvesting and processing of mature medical marijuana plants.

Some patients may complain about the limited space -- 50 square feet 
- -- being allowed to grow in, but as some growers have pointed out, 
there are plants genetically altered for indoor growth that take much 
less space than outdoor plants require when provided with the proper 
mixtures of light and nutrients.

Certainly, other cities elsewhere may take a more lax view on medical 
marijuana cultivation.

Due to a lack of uniform regulations from the state Legislators, 
California cities and counties will be blazing the trails in regards 
to what can and should be allowed.

As for Anderson, the proposed appears to be a thorough, 
well-researched and well-reasoned approach to many of the problems 
that beset the community this past growing and harvest seasons.

Keep up the good work, Anderson City Council, and bravo!
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom