This letter is in response to Michael Kahl's letter. The Lodi City Council has enacted a 45-day ban on all outdoor growing of marijuana. This ban is in no way endorsing or condemning the legal use of medical marijuana. This ban is in place to give the council the time needed to gather information necessary to make an informed decision. This is a zoning issue.
Michael was right when he stated that no one was breaking the law. That is precisely why the issue of cultivating marijuana within the city limits is an important one. I find it incredibly naive for anyone to think that having marijuana growing in their neighborhood would not leave them at a higher risk for crime. The issue of marijuana cultivation within the city limits can't be compared with other vegetables, fruit or flowers. There is plenty of documentation supporting the fact that where there are drugs, there is increased crime and violence. It may not be the fault of the property owner who grows marijuana and gets robbed, but it is the responsibility of our elected officials to protect their citizens from dangers that can be controlled.
Just as we have ordinances keeping us from raising 99 chickens in our backyard or having 99 cats, we need an ordinance determining if cultivation should be allowed and where it can be grown. Being a good neighbor and citizen is not forcing your will on others, but rather living your best life and allowing others to do the same. Having marijuana growing in your neighborhood is forcing everyone to accept all that comes with it.
I don't think raising your kids in a neighborhood where marijuana grows openly makes the job of raising kids any easier. Many may not realize that the odor is very strong and unpleasant, much the same as skunk smell. If you have marijuana growing in your neighborhood or next door, you would have a very difficult time selling or renting the property. No one would sign up for living next to that if they were given the choice.
If anyone chooses to use medical marijuana, in no way am I forcing you to stop.
I personally support the council's effort to protect the safety of its citizens.