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Comments on temporary ban on growing marijuana outdoors

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Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2012 12:00 am

Don't be confused by this letter. My opinions expressed here are not to endorse or condemn growing "pot" outdoors. My concern is for our liberties as citizens, and to ensure the council fully considers the extended ramifications of their actions.

The ban was put in place "to ensure the legal uses of marijuana do not result in sight, smell or criminal spillover." Again to be clear, this is a discussion of the legal growing of marijuana. If it's against the law it's a crime. It's that simple.

The ban was placed on legal uses. No one was breaking a law, but they are now required by the council's ban to stop. If the action was legal, then the council should have asked staff to study the issue without a ban.

Regarding sight, if I don't like your motor home parked in your driveway, your trees that block my view or the color of your home, I have no course of action. And I shouldn't. It's your property, not mine, and (as long as it's legal) you have the right to do as you please.

Smell — interesting concept trying to ban an odor or fragrance; not to say it hasn't been done before when it's proven a detriment to the population as a whole — waste disposal sites. Would this also apply to my neighbor's weekend barbecues or the smell of McDonald's on Lodi Avenue that fills the neighborhood? And how would staff define the word "smell"? When is something an odor and when is it a fragrance?

Criminal spillover: It goes without saying that if criminals are choosing to break into a property, it isn't the fault of the property owner. If there's a rash of car break-ins in a neighborhood, should a ban be placed on parking cars outdoors?

If your neighbor was growing tomatoes that grew 6 feet high, filled the morning air with their odor/fragrance and were being stolen, the council wouldn't consider a ban. Why? Because it's legal.

Michael Kahl


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