Local

Fresno County maintains stand on medical marijuana

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Fresno County supervisors considered easing the county's restrictive medical marijuana ordinance, which requires the plants to be grown indoors in industrial areas, and shuts down all dispensaries. But Sheriff Margaret Mims urged them not to budge and risk violating Federal Law.

"What we don't want is the US Attorney's office to say you're all conspirators in committing federal crime.

But physician Linda Diaz who served on the county advisory panel suggesting changes to the ordinance told the board medical marijuana patients are better off going to regulated dispensaries.

"They didn't have to worry if they were dealing with a drug dealer, if they didn't pay right up someone was going to attack them, and if you take that away, you are putting those folks at risk."

Supervisor Susan Anderson was all alone in asking to give residents the right to grow their own marijuana in the privacy of their own home.

"I believe people should have a right to grow some small amount in their residence and I think they are going to do that so I think we're going to have an ordinance that's unenforceable."

Anderson also pointed out that under the ordinance, the industrial cultivation centers will become the new distribution centers, so she says the ordinance accomplishes nothing. Anderson added legal drugs like OxyContin are causing far more serious problems than medical marijuana.

"It is sold by the pill for about 25 dollars a pill at Clovis West and kids are having their lives completely ruined and when you become addicted to OxyContin the next thing you go to is heroin and it's happened to many, many young people in this community and that's something regulated by the Federal Government, you can buy it at the drug store."

But the other four members of the board kept the focus on pot, and voted to maintain the ban, and add new restrictions.

The additional restrictions require the indoor growing operations in industrial areas of the county to be at least two thousand feet apart. If the property is annexed into a neighboring city, the operation will have to shut down.

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Tags:
medical marijuana, fresno, fresno county, sheriff margaret mims, local, gene haagenson
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