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The Madera Tribune

Expect more pot debate on Tuesday

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webmaster | 03/12/12

The Madera County Board of Supervisors will consider Tuesday whether to pass an ordinance prohibiting the growing of marijuana outdoors — including medical marijuana. The ordinance would allow indoor growing of medical pot, but only a maximum of 100 plants, in a space no larger than 100 square feet.

The ordinance has a lot of support on the board, and also from Sheriff John Anderson.

Said Supervisor David Rogers last month: This ordinance is here to eliminate production of marijuana for sale.”

The growing of supposed medical marijuana in outdoor gardens has led to many complaints from neighbors of these pot plots, who gripe that the plants stink and that traffic is increased in their neighborhoods from people driving up to illegally purchase marijuana. They also point to increases in violence that rises from outsiders trying to steal the weed or invade the homes of the growers in attempts to get either weed or money made from selling it illegally.

The ordinance also would prohibit the growing of marijuana on rented property.

Bud Dougan, who said he lives on Road 29, told the supervisors at a meeting on Feb. 28 that the anti-renter provision was “unfair to those who don’t own their own homes.”

He said that since he started using medical cannabis by prescription, his health had improved.

Rita Smith of Ahwahnee, one of the county’s most vocal supporters of legalizing marijuana, accused the board of practicing medicine without a license by limiting how much could be grown, and where. She told supervisors that only doctors who provided recommendations for marijuana use could have any idea of how much a patient should use.

Smith also challenged assertions that marijuana was the cause of problems.

“We want to see some evidence of these problems,” she said.

Cindy Dias, who claimed she had a neighbor who grows pot, said she had called the sheriff many times about the problems the grow was causing.

She wondered whether pot should be grown indoors where children are present.

“What about my rights?” she asked.

Expect more debate about this on Tuesday.


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