Lake County in northern California has banned medical marijuana growers from planting cannabis outdoors after voters backed a proposal by county regulators outlawing the practice.
The county supervisors had earlier voted last December to ban outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana in the area. However, an advocacy group The Community Alliance to Ban Illegal Cannabis Cultivation gathered at least 4,000 signatures, which was more than double the required number, to take the issue to the ballot on Tuesday, reported Huffington Post.
The law prohibits outdoor growing of marijuana in community growth boundaries, and limits the outdoor cultivation 100 feet from water bodies and 1000 feet from parks and schools and restricts indoor cultivations to a maximum of 100 square feet.
“The Lake County Chamber supports the rights of legitimate medical marijuana patients as was intended by Proposition 215,” said the Lake County chamber board. “However, we have heard from members of the chamber and others throughout the county who are concerned about the cultivation of marijuana in their neighborhoods and the county as a whole.”
Those who supported the ban on outdoor cannabis cultivation in Lake County claimed that the activity was depleting rivers and polluting forests. Medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996, though local authorities are still allowed to set their own regulations on its cultivation.
“People are coming in, denuding the hillsides, damming the creeks and mixing in fertilizers that are not allowed in the U.S. into our watersheds,” Denise Rushing, a supervisor with Lake County who favored the ban, told the Associated Press.
Those who opposed the ban argued that the move would push legal medical marijuana growers to plant their own crops illegally. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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