Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

New guidelines for growing medicinal cannabis

DSC_4298 ec

THE BOARD of Supervisors meets to discuss current and pending medical marijuana ordinances with a full house on Sept. 24.

By
From page A1 | September 27, 2013 | 26 Comments

Two hundred, 400 or 600 square feet per qualified garden is the new medicinal cannabis law in El Dorado County. Ordinance 5000 was passed by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday after nearly six hours of testimony, discussion and deliberation. The ordinance officially takes effect 30 days from now. During the same session, the board also adopted an ordinance to limit the number of medical marijuana dispensaries to the five or six establishments currently operating legally within the county.

County supervisors have sought to standardize and regulate the cultivation of medical marijuana since they adopted two “urgency” moratoria in October 2011. By law, the moratoria would have expired as of Oct. 1 and Oct. 31 respectively, thereby throwing the issue back into a kind of legal limbo. The new cultivation ordinance now permits individuals with qualifying medical documentation to grow enough cannabis for their own personal, medicinal needs on property in the unincorporated areas of the county.

Because the ordinance is based on the county’s zoning laws, the square footage per garden is determined by the size of the parcel. Property of an acre or less, therefore, is allowed 200 square feet of cultivation area. Five acres or more may use 400 square feet while 20 acres or more can have a maximum of 600 square feet under cultivation. Not more than three qualified individuals may participate per parcel under the ordinance. This determination in the ordinance drew considerable opposition from Tuesday’s audience and is likely to be one of the issues revisited when supervisors evaluate the effectiveness of the new policy in six months.

The opposing arguments noted that every patient’s needs are different and that theoretically the harvest from 200 square feet could supply the annual medicinal needs of even 10 or 20 individuals. Likewise, many patients are physically unable to share in the actual gardening but could benefit from the labor of one or two more capable participants.

Setbacks were established at 50 feet on the smaller plots and 100 feet on the 400 and 600 square foot units.

Supervisors opted to include language restricting the location of gardens to not less than 1,000 feet from a school, school bus stop, church or other “youth-oriented” facility. The property must be fenced and secured and the garden must be otherwise screened from view by additional fencing, plants or trees, buildings or other structures. Some concerns regarding redundant fencing devolved into a determination that if a perimeter fence were locked, secured and screened in some way, an interior fence surrounding the garden would not be required.

El Dorado County Sheriff’s Capt. Andrew Wishart, representing Sheriff John D’Agostini, told supervisors they were “heading in the right direction” balancing compassion with citizen’s rights. He said the ordinances “help us with compliance” and while the sheriff “would like banning dispensaries,” the restrictions on new ones were acceptable. He also pushed for secure fencing and screening saying, “We do have grows that attract a criminal element.”

The original moratoria passed in 2011 were a direct result of residents’ complaints and law enforcement’s frustrations with illegal cultivation and accompanying criminal activities. At that time, numerous citizens told horror stories of being threatened by unknown, heavily armed men patrolling large marijuana farms in more remote areas of the county including on National Forest land. Heavy vehicle traffic during nighttime hours to and from certain cultivated areas, discharging of firearms and general menacing behavior and a pervasive noxious odor in some neighborhoods was cited as evidence of the need for restrictive and enforceable legislation regarding cultivation of marijuana.

“The primary thrust of this ordinance is to allow the sheriff’s department to eradicate the grows we don’t want,” Chairman Ron Briggs explained during the hearing.

Along with regulations regarding use of pesticides, non-pollution of waterways and air quality, the ordinance demands that there be an inhabited residence on the property and that the resident must be the cultivator of record. In the event the resident is a renter, there must be documentation on file from the property owner that the resident is authorized to engage in the cultivation of medicinal cannabis within the strictures of the ordinance.

A section was included in the ordinance for “administrative relief” to allow the county to grant some sort of waiver of certain elements in order to resolve “unique circumstances” that could arise. One example cited named John Barrett, a frequent speaker on medical marijuana at supervisors meetings. Due to multiple sclerosis, Barrett is confined to a wheelchair. Therefore he requires a wider space between the plants in his garden and the 200 or 400 square foot maximum could unduly restrict his cultivation and access to his medication.

Briggs introduced a previously unmentioned caveat to the discussion relative to the number of people who can be served by the typical garden — that is, the county’s road system and the potential for increased traffic (from 10 to 20 participants).

“We don’t have a lot of roads,” Briggs said. “People live at the end of meandering roads and may be victims of whatever happens at the front of the roads. Bad guys are hiding behind the legal, legitimate users.”

That notion was addressed by another speaker who explained that very few if any additional participants would be regular visitors to the garden and therefore would not create a significant impact on the roads.

“Ordinances are living documents,” Briggs reiterated prior to the final votes. “We’ll probably be back in six months changing this.”

Contact Chris Daley at 530-344-5063 or cdaley@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @CDaleyMtDemo

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 26 comments

  • EvelynSeptember 27, 2013 - 1:23 pm

    "Less than 30 Days Until Legal Pot Cultivation in El Dorado County" - HERE

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynSeptember 27, 2013 - 1:35 pm

    "Ballot proposal to decriminalize pot cleared to collect signatures" - HERE

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynSeptember 27, 2013 - 1:37 pm

    "Justice Dept. won't challenge state marijuana laws" - HERE

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Little RickySeptember 27, 2013 - 5:19 pm

    Evelyn September 27, 2013 - 1:23 pm "Less than 30 Days Until Legal Pot Cultivation in El Dorado County" - Seriously,, Medical Cultivation has became Legal in 1996,,, Just saying Stop trying to make people panic with your lies and misinformation.. California Senate Bill 420 (colloquially known as the Medical Marijuana Program Act[1]) was a bill introduced by John Vasconcellos of the California State Senate, and subsequently passed by the California State Legislature and signed by Governor Gray Davis in 2003 "pursuant to the powers reserved to the State of California and its people under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution."[2] It clarified the scope and application of California Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, and established the California medical marijuana program. The bill's title is notable because "420" is a common phrase used in cannabis culture. It is widely believed that the term "420" and its use in the Cannabis culture came into being because of Senate Bill 420.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynSeptember 27, 2013 - 5:26 pm

    Ricky: Thanks for the feedback on what in fact is an article title. Possibly have a look at the article itself to see if the information accords with reality.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Little RickySeptember 27, 2013 - 7:27 pm

    SACRAMENTO, CA – Support for marijuana legalization is above 50% among Californians, and even higher among likely voters, according to a new Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) poll released Thursday. While other pollsters have reported majority support for legalization in the past, especially in the run-up to the failed 2010 Proposition 19 effort, Thursday’s poll marks the first time PPIC has recorded majority support for legalization. PPIC polling in September 2011 had support for legalization at 46%, and that figure dropped to 45% in a March 2012 PPIC poll. Now, the numbers have flipped. The poll found support for marijuana legalization at 52% among all respondents and 60% among likely voters. Conversely, 45% of all respondents and 38% of likely voters opposed legalization, with undecideds accounting for only 2% to 3% of respondents. Democrats (64%), independents (60%), and men (57%) are more likely than Republicans (45%) and women (47%) to favor legalization. About six in 10 whites (63%) and blacks (61%) are in favor, Asians are divided (48% legal, 45% not legal), and about six in 10 Latinos are opposed (62%). About half across age groups think marijuana use should be legal. The question asked was “In general, do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?” The question was asked of 1,703 Californians, including 1,429 registered voters, between September 10 and 17. Among those likely voters responding, 46% were Democrats, 31% Republicans, and 17% independents. That generally follows current voter registration statistics. The racial makeup of likely voters was 61% white, 15% Latino, 12% Asian and 8% black. The poll has a margin of error of between 3.7% and 4.5% depending on the subgroup polled. The poll results are likely to encourage efforts by California activists to get a legalization initiative on the 2014 ballot, even though many major drug reform players have cautioned that the state should wait for the higher voter turnout expected in the 2016 presidential election year. A divided activist community threw up several initiative proposals in 2012, but none of them managed to make the ballot. One measure, the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative 2014, has already been cleared for circulation this year, and at least one more is in the works. Organizers face a daunting task, however; they need to gather more than half a million registered voter signatures, a process that typically requires at least a million-dollar investment. Whether the big money can be convinced that 2014 is both doable and winnable remains to be seen. The poll also found that more than two-thirds (68%) of respondents said the federal government should not enforce federal marijuana laws in states where it is legal.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Walking TallSeptember 28, 2013 - 6:23 am

    Little Ricky/Evelyn: don't rejoice too soon as it is still ilegal Federally and it's not a cure all it only masks the pain and is not a medical cure. Get real the grows cause crime and those who grow usually sell so there in lies the problem of abuse. Abuse and you loose as those who push the grows are the suppliers for our youth and addicts and cause violent crimes to rise. The user may benefit from a legal head shop, so let's see if federally regulated despencing of this "Weed" controls the abuse. History shows us it does not, making it legal doesn't stop addiction ie: Alcohol is legal and kills many medically and innocent lives are lost in DUI's. The criminal element is always going to find a way around the law as in proposition 215 P.C. as it is abused as a common practice. Don't support criminal activity nor condone the criminals hiding behind a law passed to benefit them, the legalization of a controlled substance doesn't stop abuse or addiction.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Kirk MacKenzieSeptember 28, 2013 - 7:17 am

    Walking Tall -- I think it is a huge mistake to treat similar things differently. When the Feds and Elders treat pot the same as heroin when it is less dangerous than alcohol and tobacco, it sends a very bad message to our kids. If we "lie" about pot we lose credibility on a wide range of issues. I think we are moving in the right direction by increasing the negatives associated with alcohol and tobacco, while decreasing the negatives associated with pot.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Walking TallSeptember 28, 2013 - 3:51 pm

    Absolutely punish the loosers/abusers and protect those who benefit from the real use associated with Marijuana. Terminal and thosewho really benefit from the use rather than the abuse and selling for profit, that's what the compassionate use act was passed for not to make the dealers rich and avoid the laws on the books to prevent addition/destruction.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • cookie65September 29, 2013 - 7:43 am

    Does anyone bother to ask why anyone has the need to grow 99 plants?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynSeptember 29, 2013 - 8:24 am

    "Governor Brown Signs California Industrial Hemp Farming Act Legalizing Hemp Farming Under State Law" - HERE

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynSeptember 29, 2013 - 9:41 am

    Walking Tall: Responding to several of your statements: • “not a cure all” - AGREE • “The criminal element is always going to find a way around the law” – The law itself leads to crime, just like during Prohibition • “Don’t support criminal activity” – AGREE • “legalization of a controlled substance doesn't stop abuse or addiction” – AGREE, but it does make getting help harder ********** See Eric Holder’s August 29th Directive (HERE). The Directive discourages the pursuit of individual non-violent marijuana users who have no links to criminal gangs or cartel operations. However, individuals and entities still will be prosecuted for, among other things: • The distribution of marijuana to minors. • Directing revenue from marijuana sales to gangs and cartels. • Using violence and or firearms in marijuana cultivation and distribution. • Driving under the influence of marijuana. • Growing marijuana on public lands.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MorrisSeptember 29, 2013 - 10:18 am

    Funny, but of the dozen or so individuals I've met in the Georgetown area with a 'green card' (two of whom are my neighbors, they all seem to share some basic traits: Intentionally unemployed and living off of others, junked yard cars that haven't moved for years but they 'are gonna fix up', a complete inability towards basic home and yard maintenance, zero concern about driving while stoned and no vehicle insurance. Oh, and absolutely no medical conditions whatsoever unless being a lazy white trash bum is a medical condition. They can go out and spend hundreds of dollars on their grow lights, beer, cigarettes etc. but are first in line for every giveaway charity program and county benefit available. Their kids are getting subsidized lunches, their girlfriends are getting aid that the county will never collect from the father who is either 'unknown' on birth cert. or if he works its all under the table. But then that is in doubt too since they all seem to spend the majority of their time getting 'baked' and throwing a frisbee at a stupid chain basket. Pot makes you stupid, lazy and just plain reeking of a nauseating stink.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • =_=September 29, 2013 - 10:34 am

    Not fair .......... Georgetown always picked on.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynSeptember 29, 2013 - 10:40 am

    Walking Tall: 9:41 am - correction lines 5 & 6 - AGREE, but it does make getting help easier

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Phil VeerkampSeptember 29, 2013 - 10:56 am

    Morris, you offer an instructive profile. But the picture you paint may be destructive to "THE NEXT STEP". The next step is the legalization of medicinal poppy gardens. The medicinal benefit of cannabis is minor compared to the benefits that millions upon millions have enjoyed from Papaver somniferum. If you continue to paint such grim pictures of pot growers then I'm afraid that the Papaver somniferum growers will be limited to Afghanistan . . . spread the misery . . . bring Papaver somniferum to the Divide.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Phil VeerkampSeptember 29, 2013 - 11:03 am

    CORRECTION: - I said, "spread the misery". I meant to say spread the joy.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • James E.September 29, 2013 - 11:15 am

    Phil, joy is better than misery.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynSeptember 29, 2013 - 12:28 pm

    POPPIES MENTIONED? "U.S. Troops Patrolling Poppy Fields In Afghanistan (Photos)" - HERE: Are American Troops Protecting Afghan Opium?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynSeptember 29, 2013 - 12:29 pm

    "Top U.S. Government Officials Admit that Our Government Has Repeatedly Protected Drug Smugglers" - HERE

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynSeptember 29, 2013 - 12:31 pm

    Walking Tall: Why would the gov't protect drug smugglers?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynSeptember 29, 2013 - 12:58 pm

    In an eight year study comparing the number of deaths from marijuana use to seventeen FDA approved drugs conducted from January 1st, 1997 to June 30, 2005, showed zero direct deaths from marijuana and 11,687 from the seventeen FDA approved drugs. Twelve of these seventeen drugs were ones that are often prescribed in place of medical marijuana. - HERE

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MorrisSeptember 30, 2013 - 12:19 am

    Georgetown picked on because Slowchildrentown never incorporated beyond initial signage.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • RSeptember 30, 2013 - 9:45 am

    All you anti's All have a rude awakening coming. Marijuana is no longer a priority for the DEA, Funding cuts, CAMP has been dismantled. What are you going to do when you pretend reality comes crashing in when you realize you were all Lied to By a government that does not trust you, NSA Survailance.... ... Also The Cops need to go after the Meth Herads in Diamond Springs.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MorrisSeptember 30, 2013 - 8:30 pm

    Medicine = Good Drugs = Bad M'Kay? Legalizing pot in this farce of a 'medicinal mercy' ethical loophole is a ridiculous ruse that sets a poor example for our kids. It also sends the wrong message. Have a headache? Smoke some pot. Upset tummy? Smoke some pot. Just like Mommy and Uncle Daddy. Smoke some pot. What next...Children's Chewable Skunk Buds? (Now in new fun shapes: Trailer House, Camero On Blocks, Teen Mom, Golden Gateway and WIC Check!)

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Little RickyOctober 30, 2013 - 12:42 pm

    Morris, The law is what the law is. You need do deal with it or Move.. It is all very simple. People have legs for a reason. Use them. I love the sent of fresh Cannabis in the Morning, It smells like VICTORY.....

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    News

    Past due state taxes bring arrest

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 9 Comments

     
    Sanford trial: Prosecution, defense rest

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Woman, dog back from Oso

    By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 9 Comments | Gallery

     
    Goodbye LUPPU, hello LRPU

    By Chris Daley | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

     
     
    DA candidate to remain on ballot

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A9

    Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Benji and the Bickersons

    By Matthew Margolis | From Page: A10

     
    CPCSD seat unfilled

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

    Lew Uhler backs Ranalli

    By News Release | From Page: A14, 6 Comments

     
    .

    Letters

    Open meetings

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

     
    Volunteers and homeless camps

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 76 Comments

    Bicycle events and traffic control

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 7 Comments

     
    Evacuation

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

    District 4 candidate

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 35 Comments

     
    .

    Sports

    Jennings wins national title

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Savannah Stephens can swing the bat

    By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    King of the West roars into Placerville

    By Gary Thomas | From Page: A11

     
    First and goal: Bunt etiquette

    By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

    Oak Ridge suffers tough 2-1 setback

    By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

     
    Roundup: April 17, 2014

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Prospecting

    Plantastic sale this Saturday

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Things to do: April 18, 2014

    By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

    Spring art brightens government center

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Student art featured for Third Saturday

    By News Release | From Page: B3

    Time out: A grand time at Grand China

    By Earle Camembert | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Temple Kol Shalom hosts Passover Seder

    By News Release | From Page: B3

    Sac State Presents ‘Gypsy’

    By California State Unversity, Sacramento | From Page: B4

     
    Promenade in high style

    By Historic Old Sacramento | From Page: B4

    Friday nights are engaging at the de Young

    By Fine Arts | From Page: B5

     
    Hats On For the Kids raises money for children

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B6

    See what is inside the vault

    By Center For Sacramento History | From Page: B6

     
    Eggstravaganza

    By Fairytale Town | From Page: B6

    Gallery tips a hat to Dr. Seuss

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B7

     
    Museum presents ‘Diesel Days’

    By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B7

    Engagement: Adam Frega and Wednesday Bienusa

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

     
    Duty: Air Force Airman Brian Polk

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

    Cal Stage presents a season of challenging productions

    By California Stage | From Page: B8

     
    Duty: Army Pfc. Kyle W. Beasy

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

    KVIE calls for artists

    By Kvie | From Page: B9

     
    A Couple of Blaguards tell tales

    By Harris Center for the Arts | From Page: B9

    America’s ClayFest II celebrates a rich history

    By Blue Line Arts | From Page: B14

     
    See wildflowers on train ride

    By Railtown | From Page: B15

    Easter at Northstar is family friendly

    By Northstar California | From Page: B15

     
    Fine Arts Museums feature two shows

    By Fine Arts | From Page: B15

    .

    Essentials

    Crime Log: March 28-30

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Arthur W. Cornell

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    Frank “Bud” Kraus Jr.

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

    Roy Cluness Chaix

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    Frederick Wilbur Heymann

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

    .

    Real Estate

    Faster sales with spring staging

    By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

     
    Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

    Press Release | From Page: HS7

    Handsome Redmond suits modern families

    Press Release | From Page: HS11

     
    Growing your own

    By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

     
    Fraud workshop scheduled

    Press Release | From Page: HS21

    HCD launches assistance program

    Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

     
    EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

    By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments

    .

    Comics

    Tundra

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

     
    TV Listings

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

    Sudoku

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

     
    Speed Bump

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

    Working It Out

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

     
    Shoe

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

    Rubes

    By Contributor | From Page: A13

     
    New York Times Crossword

    By Contributor | From Page: A14

    Horoscope, Sunday, April 20, 2014

    By Contributor | From Page: A14

     
    Horoscope, Saturday, April 19, 2014

    By Contributor | From Page: A14

    Horoscope, Friday, April 18, 2104

    By Contributor | From Page: A14

     
    .

    Home Source

    Faster sales with spring staging

    By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

    Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

    Press Release | From Page: HS7

    Handsome Redmond suits modern families

    Press Release | From Page: HS11

    Growing your own

    By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

    Fraud workshop scheduled

    Press Release | From Page: HS21

    HCD launches assistance program

    Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

    EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

    By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments