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Roseville to again consider pot ban

Ordinance would prohibit outdoor growth of medical marijuana
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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The Roseville City Council is scheduled to once again consider a ban on outdoor medical marijuana cultivation during Wednesday's meeting.

If passed, the ordinance would prohibit the outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana and limit indoor growing to fewer than 50-square-feet in the grower's primary residence. The city manager could grant permission for more space.

Violations that go uncorrected would be punishable by a $500 daily fine.

Opponents of the ban argue the restriction would lead to fire hazards and cause a financial burden on patients. Growers will have to install the proper lights and indoor exhaust equipment. Some patients may lack space to grow inside.

The pot ban was originally introduced in July 2011, but councilmembers postponed a vote. In February, resident Jack Wallace asked the council to reconsider the proposal because of concerns over the "skunk-like" odor emitting from the backyard growth of marijuana.

Councilman Tim Herman and Councilman John Allard voted against bringing the item back to the council because of uncertainty over medical marijuana laws at the state and federal levels.

Mayor Pauline Roccucci, Vice Mayor Susan Rohan and Councilwoman Carol Garcia voted in favor of reconsidering the ban.

Under Proposition 215, California patients with a valid doctor's recommendation have the right to possess and grow pot for personal medical use.

In October, a court decision ruled that local regulations for medical cannabis and permitting for dispensaries are preempted by federal laws, which prompted cities across California to suspend permits.

Roseville has never allowed dispensaries within city limits, which means residents often grow their own medical marijuana.

The city council meeting takes place at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Civic Center, 311 Vernon St. in Roseville. For the agenda, visit www.roseville.ca.us.

~ Sena Christian