Fresno City Council takes first step toward pot-growing ban

The Fresno BeeMarch 20, 2014 

Fresno County sheriff's deputies discovered 100 marijuana plants Feb. 10, 2013, in an outdoor greenhouse and 400 other starter plants in a garage at a house in the 1300 block of South Temperance Avenue, which is in the county. City leaders in Fresno are now talking about an outright ban on marijuana growing.

SPECIAL TO THE BEE — FRESNO COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

The Fresno City Council on Thursday approved, for introduction, a ban on the cultivation of marijuana indoors and in specific outdoor areas that had the required permit.

The action will make growing marijuana illegal everywhere in Fresno. There will be fines for anyone with plants in the ground beyond the abatement deadline -- 120 days after the ban's adoption. The council at a later date will be asked to adopt the changes.

Police Chief Jerry Dyer said the ban is a matter of public safety. He said officers in the past year have investigated 317 complaints of marijuana cultivation.

Council members expressed their concern for people who use marijuana for legitimate medical reasons. Where are these users to find a secure supply that doesn't force them to break the law? Several council members said the city should look into possible answers.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6272 or ghostetter@fresnobee.com. Read his City Beat blog at fresnobee.com/city-beat.

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