May 082014

Fresno County’s new ban on marijuana gardens imposes heavy marijuana fines, which were the focus of two recent stories in the Fresno Bee.

Landlord, tenant to split pot fine, Fresno County supervisors decide

Fresno County supervisors agreed Tuesday to split a hefty fine for medical marijuana cultivation between an out-of-town property owner and his tenant. Fines under the ordinance are $1,000 per plant.

The 3-2 vote divided a $30,000 fine between Bret Harmon, a medical marijuana-growing tenant in a Kerman-area home, and Ronald Larson, the home’s absentee owner living in the Bay Area. Supervisors said Larson was partly responsible, but assessed Harmon 90 percent of the financial penalties — $27,000. Larson will face $3,000 in penalties because the plants were grown on his property, the Bee’s Marc Benjamin reports.

Judge puts Fresno County medical marijuana fines on hold

May 2 ‐ A Fresno County Superior Court judge ruled this week that county officials can’t start collecting fines from two property owners who appealed the new medical marijuana cultivation ban.

His order affects two properties near Kerman and Del Rey where medical marijuana was discovered and removed, the Fresno Bee reports. Both cases were heard by the Fresno County Board of Supervisors, which approved the fines in March. (abc30 coverage)

Judge M. Bruce Smith said the county must await the outcome of two appeals, including one filed by Phaeth Holapatiphone, who in February was caught growing 43 medical marijuana plants in the backyard of her mother’s home near Del Rey. Supervisors approved a fine of $1,000 per plant — totaling $43,000.

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