What’s up with West Sacramento’s outdoor medical-marijuana garden ban?

Ngaio on gardening in West Sac and Uruguay's legalization of marijuana

Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at ask420@newsreview.com.

I was recently visited by the West Sacramento Police Department. They said they had a complaint about my outdoor grow. I have five plants. They informed me there is a moratorium on outdoor grows, despite my permit. They said I had to bring them indoors. They are in the ground, and I am sure repotting would kill them. How long do I have to comply? I said it would take two or three days. Is building an enclosed shed around them legal? So close to harvest, I don’t want to destroy them.


Dude. I feel for you. You may be effed. West Sacramento has had a moratorium on outdoor growing since last year. Unlike the city of Sacramento, West Sac has no provisions that allow for any sort of outdoor growing.

In my opinion, cities shouldn’t be able to ban a small medical garden. California state law allows for qualified medical patients to grow their own medicine. That should be the end of it. Of course, more than a few people have tried to take advantage: growing a bajillion plants in their yard; pissing off the neighbors; inviting crime; blah, blah, blah. A few bad apples aside, I really wish someone would challenge these outdoor bans in court.

Your options are a bit limited. You could move them indoors, but, as you said, they may not survive, and your plants are probably so big by now, that finding a suitable indoor space will be an expensive challenge. Your best bet may be to ask one of your Yolo County (excluding the city of West Sac, of course) homies if you can move your plants into their yard. Yolo County has no restrictions on outdoor medical growing, because YOLO!

Good luck, and if you need any help with the trimming, let me know.

Are any countries ever going to legalize cannabis?

—Globetrotter Gail

It looks like Uruguay will be the winner. Yes, Uruguay. The second-smallest nation in South America is expected to pass a law to legalize and regulate cannabis. The law will allow personal growing; small, private cannabis collectives; and sales of state-grown cannabis via pharmacies. Unfortunately, the law does not allow non-Uruguayans to purchase weed (yet).

Not to be all Joe Biden about it, but: This is a big fucking deal. This is straight up legalization.

Of course, the international prohibitionists are in a tizzy. In a statement released just hours after the bill was passed in Uruguay’s House of Representatives, the International Narcotics Control Board, a branch of the United Nations tasked with monitoring governments’ compliance with international drug laws, said that such a law would be in “complete contravention” of the International Narcotics Control Board, which bans the sale of cannabis for nonmedical use. IMHO, the INCB can go pound sand. Viva Uruguay!