Local

Rancho Cordova bans outdoor pot growth

Marijuana plants grow on a residential property in a vegetable garden in Lake County last August in Clear Lake. Lake County passed strict growing laws. Rancho Cordova on Tuesday passed a ban on growing pot outdoors and indoors when children live in the home.
Marijuana plants grow on a residential property in a vegetable garden in Lake County last August in Clear Lake. Lake County passed strict growing laws. Rancho Cordova on Tuesday passed a ban on growing pot outdoors and indoors when children live in the home. Los Angeles Times

The Rancho Cordova City Council on Tuesday banned growth of marijuana outdoors, and indoors when children live in the home.

The council voted 5-0 in favor of the restrictions, which will take effect in 30 days.

Since California voters approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes nearly 20 years ago, local governments have struggled to respond to safety and nuisance complaints related to its cultivation.

Rancho Cordova officials said the restrictions are necessary to stop armed theft of the plants and the skunk-like smell that can permeate an area near the plants.

In a phone interview, Dale Gieringer of the California chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws criticized the ban.

“We think it’s unreasonable,” he said. “I don’t know a single child that’s been hurt by pot growing in the house.”

City officials said their restrictions meet legal standards recently established by courts on cities’ authority to regulate marijuana cultivation.

“The laws on this issue are very complex,” City Attorney Adam Lindgren told the council Tuesday. “That is why you see me about every 12 months on this issue.”

Gieringer agreed that the Rancho Cordova law is in line with recent court rulings. A 2013 appellate court decision upheld a total ban on marijuana cultivation in the Sutter County town of Live Oak.

While a similar proposal in unincorporated Sacramento County drew widespread opposition from medical marijuana advocates last year, only one person spoke on the proposal in Rancho Cordova last night.

Elk Grove and Sacramento County ban outdoor marijuana growth, while the city of Sacramento has a prohibition in residential areas.

Call The Bee’s Brad Branan, (916) 321-1065. Follow him on Twitter @BradB_at_SacBee.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee

  Comments