City considers restraints on pot growing
NEWS-LEDGER– DEC 4, 2013 —
Local law already bans pot dispensaries and backyard medical marijuana groves —
By Steve Marschke
The City of West Sacramento is poised to again tighten the restrictions on anyone growing marijuana at home.
The city has already outlawed marijuana dispensaries, the cultivation of marijuana for dispensaries, and any kind of outdoor marijuana cultivation. Although a state initiative legalized marijuana for medical use in the state, it still remains illegal under federal law.
A staff report for this Thursday’s planning commission meeting suggests that the commission put further city restrictions on those growing the plant for their own use, including:
— Continuing to outlaw outdoor growth of the plants
— Limiting indoor growth to 120 square feet per property, with a required minimum amount of ventilation and maximum wattage of growing lights.
— Allowing cultivation only when the grower lives on the property
— No cultivation in nonresidential zones or within 600 feet of schools or child care centers.
The staff report said that, after tracking court cases involving the rights of users of medical marijuana, city planning staff believed such restrictions would pass legal muster.
A number of residents have complained about neighbors growing the drug, said the report. Some have complained about the odor of the plants, and others have worried that the plants are a magnet for thieves and crime.
Citing data collected since 2008, the report said:
“The total number of narcotics complaints shows a peak in 2010, decreasing slightly thereafter, and then a slight rise this year. However, the number of complaints that specifically identify marijuana has doubled every year to 2012, with 2013 slightly below. . . The calls for service and crimes (plant theft, residential burglaries) related to the cultivation of marijuana have doubled since 2010.”
The city planning commission will be asked to consider the new restrictions during its meeting 6 p.m. Thursday (Dec. 5) at city hall, 1110 West Capitol Avenue.
Copyright News-Ledger 2013