medical marijuana

Communities throughout the valley are rushing to ban medical marijuana. In part one of this two part series, Valley Public Radio introduced you to the people pushing or resisting the ban and how they have affected your community. In part two, we some of the people to find out how they are dodging the ban.

Jeffrey Hess

After nearly two decades of legalized medical marijuana in California there is a sudden mad dash among valley communities to establish local regulations and bans. But do the bans actually drive growers and dispensaries out of business? Valley Public Radio takes a look.

In a small nondescript house in Merced, Darcy Louise Johnson looks over the dozens of marijuana plants growing in the garage.

 “They are healthy. They are green. You can see some of the leaves are shimmery from an oil I sprayed on them,” Johnson said showing off her plants.

Courtesy of Brett Lebin

Dozens of California cities and counties, including many in the Central Valley, are moving quickly to pass bans on medical marijuana growth and sale.

The bans are often modeled on existing rules in Fresno and Kern Counties that prohibit either the cultivation or sale of medical marijuana.

Brenda Linder, a lawyer who works with medical marijuana clients, says the reason for the rush is new state regulation that sets a March  deadline to adopt local rules or otherwise they will default to what the state dictates.

Courtesy of Brett Lebin

California farmers are known for producing some of the finest fruits, vegetables and nuts in the world. But what if big agriculture here also included marijuana? If the legalization of recreational pot makes it onto the November  2016 ballot and passes, local growers might have a new crop to harvest.  FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports that some Central Valley farmers are already eyeing just that possibility. 

A few years ago Los Banos Farmer Cannon Michael discovered a one-acre illegal marijuana grow on his land.

FLikr- Brett Levin

The Fresno City Council is reversing course on an ordinance that would have allowed limited indoor cultivation of medical marijuana. The deal appeared to satisfy no one.

The ordinance would have allowed people with a medical marijuana prescription to grow up to four plants in their homes, something that is currently prohibited.

It had previously passed the council two weeks ago, but today died on a 4-to-3 vote.

Councilmember Steve Brandau, one of the no votes, says the city should work with Fresno County to have one unified set of growing standards…

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

The Fresno City Council is moving forward with a plan to modify the city's medical marijuana law. But as FM89's Joe Moore reports, the change could be short lived. 

The new law would amend another passed last year by the council that banned all marijuana cultivation in the city. If the new proposal becomes law, residents would be allowed to grow up to four marijuana plants indoors, for their personal medicinal use.

New Push To Regulate Medical Marijuana In California

Feb 12, 2015
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

There’s a new push to regulate medical marijuana in California after similar legislation failed at the state Capitol last year. As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, the debate centers on how much control cities and counties should have over local marijuana businesses.

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims began her third term in office last week. Since she became sheriff in 2006, law enforcement and criminal justice have seen massive changes: big budget cuts, mandatory jail releases, realignment and sentencing reform.

Fresno County

It's still illegal to grow marijuana in Fresno County. The Board of Supervisors entertained the possibility of lifting the outright ban on cultivation during their meeting today but instead decided to retain the county's zero tolerance policy.

Katie Orr / Capital Public Radio

California’s highest court has come down on the side of cities and counties in the fight over the location, or even the existence, of medical marijuana dispensaries. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento.