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Butte County Marijuana Cultivation Ordinance Adopted

purple pimpernel

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Butte County marijuana cultivation ordinance adopted



Posted:   02/27/2013 01:38:15 AM PST



The Butte County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a marijuana cultivation ordinance that...

OROVILLE -- In Butte County, few phrases can ignite passion more quickly than the words "medical marijuana."

Tuesday proved that point when people on both sides of the issue found things not to like in the ordinance that was the Board of Supervisors' second try at regulating marijuana cultivation in the unincorporated areas of the county.

On a 4-1 vote that saw none of the supervisors particularly happy with the measure — and Chico Supervisor Larry Wahl staunchly opposed — an ordinance that goes into effect in 30 days was adopted.

The measure prohibits -->>outdoor marijuana gardens on lots smaller than 0.5 acre. It allows up to 12 plants (six mature and six immature) on parcels larger than 0.5 acre but smaller than 1.5 acre. On parcels smaller than 3 acres, 36 plants (18 mature and 18 immature) are allowed. The total allowable number of plants tops out at 99 on property larger than 40 acres.

The gardens have set-back requirements that increase as the lots grow, and the plants have to be screened from view with fencing.

Marijuana grows are prohibited within 1,000 feet of schools and other locations frequented by children. The growers have to be able to prove they have been county residents for a year, and there has to be written proof the landowner is aware of the garden and approves of its existence.

Butte County Chief Administrative Officer Paul Hahn underscored the fact that enforcement of the ordinance, which is a land-use measure, is complaint-driven

and the complaining party must live or work within 1,500 feet of the nearest property line to the offending garden.

Wahl said nothing about the proposed ordinance was acceptable.

He said the measure unreasonably limits who can complain about a marijuana garden, and does nothing to protect the environment from fertilizer or pesticide runoff that could escape the gardens.

Hahn said there are other county ordinances that address those sorts of problems.

Wahl charged the measure will aid commercial growers, encourage criminal activity, and put neighbors and others in jeopardy.

The supervisor said it will "destroy property values" and make land sales almost impossible.

Only the "purveyors of marijuana for profit" will benefit from passage of the measure, according to Wahl.

The supervisor also pointed out cultivation of marijuana for any purpose is a violation of federal law.

Hahn said nothing about this ordinance makes the cultivation of marijuana for sale legal. He said such operations are violations of both state and federal law.

County Clerk/Recorder Candace Grubbs, speaking as a private citizen, said the 99-plant gardens on large parcels are unreasonable.

"I can grow 99 plants on my own property. Isn't that keen?" said Grubbs. She said there is no legitimate medicinal reason for somebody to grow that many plants.

At the other end of the marijuana debate were people who said the ordinance hurt the "little guys."

While the ordinance prohibits outside grows on lots smaller than 0.5 acre, it permits indoor gardens in free-standing buildings of 120 square feet on lots anywhere in county jurisdiction.

Hahn said there is no limit put on the number of plants that can be grown in the shed-size buildings, and no building permits are required for the structures.

Other individuals didn't discuss the ordinance but either charged marijuana is a dangerous drug or a miracle herb that cures cancer and protects brain cells.

CHP Capt. Scott Gillingwater, commander of both the Chico and Oroville highway patrol offices, said, "Marijuana has serious harmful effects on the skills required to drive safely." He then listed three fatal crashes — two in 2010 and one in 2011 — where marijuana was one of the factors leading to the tragedy.

Supervisor Steve Lambert, who lives on a ranch west of Oroville, said, "I am not a big pro-pot guy. I'm not a pot guy."

He said the state government has left it up to the counties to make the cultivation of medical marijuana work. He said this really is a good-neighbor issue and if people just treated each other with respect, this would not even be a topic of discussion.

The ordinance requires that the board bring the measure back for review in one year and mandates a mechanism be established to solicit and chronicle citizen input.

"This is really a tough decision. It is not something we really want to do," said Supervisor Maureen Kirk of Chico.

Ultimately, Paradise Supervisor Doug Teeter moved for approval of the ordinance and Lambert seconded the motion. Wahl was the lone no vote.






Link to new Butte medical marijuana ordinance


Posted:   02/27/2013 08:24:25 AM PST


OROVILLE —On Tuesday, the Butte County Board of Supervisors approved a new ordinance regulating the cultivation of medical marijuana within the unincorporated sections of the county.

The ordinance provides detailed regulations on where medical marijuana can be grown and how many plants are allowed on what size lots.


To see the entire ordinance visit


http://www.buttecounty.net/~/media/County%20Files/AdminOffice/Public%20Internet/News/AdminMMJ%20Ord%20022613ord.ashx on the web.

Edited by purple pimpernel
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