Sep 222010

The Porterville City Council will wait until voters cast ballots on Proposition 19 this November before determining whether to fine those who violate the state’s marijuana growing and possession laws.

While several members of the City Council appeared inclined Tuesday night to require all legalized, essentially medically purported, marijuana growth to occur indoors, they recognized that the legalization initiative could be a game changer if it’s passed. It would require allow local governments to regulate, set and collect fees and taxes and authorize various criminal and civil penalties, the Porterville Recorder reports.

“We never want to reinvent the wheel,” City Attorney Julia Lew said.

Few opinions were expressed by those in attendance at the regularly scheduled City Council meeting, with only one man defending the value of medical marijuana and Californian’s rights to use it under the Compassionate Use Act, and two Terra Bella women airing worries that large “pot plantations” are a public safety hazard.

Earlier in the day, a 17-year-old from Lindsay died from a gunshot wound he received last week while reportedly stealing from a marijuana garden.

“It’s like hanging 100-dollar bills in your front yard,” councilman Greg Shelton said. “I don’t know if I wanna shut it down, I just don’t want people getting shot over it.”

Following the Nov. 2 election, the council may consider incorporating marijuana regulations into its land and zoning laws. Currently, according to the city manager and Porterville Police Department, the District Attorney is not prosecuting cultivation for personal uses.

Lew noted that civil injunctions established in other California cities are successful in enforcing state laws.

“It seems like we should have some type of control,” Mayor Ron Irish said. “If we can do home occupational permits, than we certainly we can do it for this.”

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