Pubdate: Fri, 13 Jan 2012
Source: Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA)
Copyright: 2012 Appeal-Democrat
Author: Jonathan Edwards


No common ground budded Thursday night on which patients could grow 
medical marijuana with their neighbors' blessing.

About 70 residents packed Yuba City City Hall and rejected a 
compromise floated by patients who agreed to limit crops to 18 plants 
and keep them at least 6 feet away from their neighbors' property. 
Instead of striking a deal, opponents renewed their calls for an all-out ban.

"Number of plants? Zero," said Leslie Hart, a 16-year-old Yuba City 
resident who said 10 marijuana grows dot her neighborhood, including 
one next door and another across the street. "I'm tired of the 
bullets. I'm tired of the parties. I'm tired of the yelling."

Marijuana crops have grown amok, ban supporters said. They stink up 
neighborhoods and threaten the safety of people caught in the 
crossfire of thieves looking to score a profit.

"I can't stand the smell," Kathy Kinney said. "You can't open the 
patio door because the smell goes all through the house."

Kinney, however, did not push for an all-out ban. She was one of 
about 10 people who said she wanted to ban growing in backyards, but 
could stomach indoors grows so long as they were armed with filters 
eliminating the plants' skunk smell.

Luke, a Yuba City resident who declined to give his last name, said 
he could live with that.

"I would not hesitate one minute to put up a greenhouse," said the 
Yuba City resident who grows for his mother Lori, his disabled mother 
who also declined to give her last name.

Like outdoor grows, a greenhouse with filters let Luke harness the 
power of the sun without having to buy expensive lights.

"You don't have to turn your house into a laboratory," he said.

Indoor grows still attract burglars, said Ellen Ballard.

"Whether it's indoor or outdoor grows, what's going to stop the 
theft?" she asked rhetorically.

The city can't afford to hire extra staff to enforce a limit on the 
number of plants, a problem acknowledged by City Manager Steve Jepsen.

"Enforcement is a problem," he said. "I don't want to be the 
marijuana police. We don't have the resources to go over and peek at 
everybody's yard."

Neighbors would be the first line of enforcing any ban or plant 
limit, Jepsen said.

That's the compromise, Kinney said. Even under a ban, code enforcers 
won't pursue growers who don't draw the ire of their neighbors. If a 
patient grows a few plants that don't reek or drape over the fence, 
they won't get reported and will get to keep their crop.

"If we have a ban, only the worst (grows) are going to be complained 
about," she said. "To me, that's compromise."

Medical marijuana patients didn't see it as much of one, creating a 
gap that promised to fuel the issue.

With no compromise between the two groups, Jepsen said he would go 
back to the City Council and recommend an additional workshop, which 
he said would likely happen at the end of February. However, finding 
middle ground between the two camps isn't likely.

"We don't have concurrence," Jepsen said, "and we're not going to get it."
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart