A flawed pot ordinance

Butte County’s rules are too restrictive

As we report this week (see Downstroke, page 8), Butte County citizens unhappy with the Board of Supervisors’ recently passed medical-cannabis ordinance are circulating a referendum petition seeking to put it on an upcoming ballot.

We don’t blame them. The ordinance is overly restrictive, particularly for people whose property is smaller than a half-acre in size; they’re prohibited from growing any marijuana whatsoever.

As the CN&R has suggested, the supervisors could have avoided this problem simply by requiring that small-parcel owners encase their plants in a greenhouse. At the board’s final meeting on the ordinance, on May 24, Supervisor Maureen Kirk broached that idea, and Biggs Mayor Roger Frith testified that his town’s greenhouse requirement had been working well, but the remaining supervisors were uninterested.

We understand that the supervisors wanted to protect neighbors from the nuisance of having a marijuana garden next door, but the resulting regulation effectively forbids many people from doing what state law allows: growing six plants for medicinal purposes.