Apr 272014

A medical cannabis grower and her mother are awaiting a judge’s ruling on whether to stay enforcement of Fresno County cannabis fines totaling $43,000.

Judge Bruce Smith said he expects a ruling by the first week of May, Marc Benjamin reports in the Fresno Bee. Smith said he was not “altogether unsympathetic” with the Holapatiphone family, which was fined $43,000 by Fresno County supervisors in noncriminal penalties after 43 medical marijuana plants were discovered without a search warrant by Fresno County sheriff’s deputies in February.

The Fresno County ordinance bans any marijuana cultivation, even if it’s for medical purposes. “You certainly have every right to appeal” the county ban, Smith said, but he questioned the format of attorney Brenda Linder’s request for a temporary restraining order. Linder represents Phaeth and Linkheo Holapatiphone, who filed suit after Fresno County deputies ripped 43 cannabis plants from their property in rural Del Rey.

“They could not have gone onto her property and charged her with a crime, so they are finding some other way to harass people and make some money while not following due process,” Linder told the Fresno Bee. “They won’t stop unless a court orders them to.”

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