Mar 212014

The City Council’s vote to ban all Fresno cannabis gardens was not surprising, but it did spur some old memories. Feels like yesterday, but nearly two years have passed since the outdoor growing ban was up for debate. If you want to take a trip down memory lane, watch this flashback as Fresno police and the City Council get all indignant over outdoor marijuana gardens in 2012.

I don’t have the full Planning Commission audio posted on that page anymore, but I may have to dig it up for old times’ sake. It featured more reasoned questioning than has happened at any subsequent council or board meeting, and it’s sort of telling that this year’s total growing ban didn’t go to the Planning Commission at all. (More on that inconvenient truth later.)

One of the questions that keeps coming up in public hearings, both then and now, is how patients can get their cannabis lawfully if dispensaries are banned and they can’t grow their own. The quick answer is “they can’t,” which brings us to this classic May 2012 clip of Fresno police Lt. David Newton telling planning commissioners that patients can find their marijuana easily. Glad we cleared that up.

I’d like to point out that one of the arguments is that people, how are they going to be able to purchase their marijuana? And, I try to avoid that argument for two reasons. One is this (ordinance) is about the outdoor cultivation, the violence and the danger associated with it.

“Number two is, if you can’t purchase marijuana in Fresno, there’s a serious issue. Because you can go on the website and there’s any one of a dozen — I’m not saying it’s legal — but there’s any one of a dozen businesses where you insert your credit card, it’s just like a regular business, and they’ll come to your door and deliver your marijuana to you.

“I’m not advocating people do that, because it’s illegal. But, the argument that people with these recommendations cannot get their marijuana, I’m having a hard time understanding. It’s so easy to secure.”

 Posted by at 10:50 pm

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