Pubdate: Thu, 20 Dec 2012
Source: Record, The (Stockton, CA)
Copyright: 2012 The Record
Author: Keith Reid


Outdoor Moratorium To Continue 10 Months

LODI - A 45-day ban on outdoor medical marijuana cultivation within
Lodi city limits has been extended for 10 months and 15 days.

The Lodi City Council on Wednesday night granted a request by the City
Attorney's Office to extend its 45-day ban, which was approved Nov. 7,
with hopes that an ordinance that will govern how and where pot can be
grown by licensed medical marijuana patients.

The temporary ban means patients cannot grow marijuana outdoors, or
indoors if the plants can be smelled beyond a grower's property line.

The council's decision came with some protest. South Lodi resident
Joshua Dougherty, who grows at his home, told the council he is often
visited by police. He urged the city to be expedient in its process of
allowing marijuana cultivation.

"You guys are mistreating medical marijuana patients" during the ban,
he said.

Lodi does not have any laws in place regarding how medical marijuana
can be grown. The police will respond to complaints, but unless a
grower violates other city code violations or state laws, they are
allowed to grow inside or outside. Residential and commercial
properties are not prohibited from growing, either.

Cultivation had not been seen as a major problem, at least not in the
council's eyes, until October, when a south Lodi woman complained that
her neighbor's marijuana plants brought on a "dead skunk" smell that
made opening her windows or doors unbearable.

That grower is Dougherty, who said he uses the drug to relieve pain
caused by major abdominal and intestinal diseases.

Dougherty said his neighbors never complained to him, and he has
purchased a greenhouse and filtration system that will diminish the

Schwabauer told Dougherty that as long as his plants cannot be smelled
over his property line, he would consider the greenhouse to be indoors.

City Councilwoman JoAnne Mounce suggested the city also consider
reducing electrical rates for medical marijuana growers during the
moratorium. Patients complain that energy costs are very high to grow

Schwabauer said he would research the idea, but that he suspects
subsidizing medical marijuana cultivation - which is illegal at the
federal level - would draw the ire of the Attorney General's Office.

East Lodi resident Joe Ventura said he's in support of the medical
marijuana moratorium because he sees drug use leading to crime in his
neighborhood. He said he knows people who use medical marijuana to
"come down" off of harder drugs.

With the council's unanimous approval of the extended moratorium,
Mayor Alan Nakanishi said he looks forward to being presented with a
variety of ordinance options in the coming months.
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