CA County Bans Outdoor Medical Marijuana Grows – NOT

MarijuanaThe recent Huffington Post article headline “California County Bans Outdoor Medical Marijuana” was, in our opinion, misleading as all outdoor Cultivation of Medical Marijuana has not been banned in Lake County. On June 4, 2014, the Huffington Post ran an article by Matt Ferner with the headline, “California County Bans Outdoor Medical Marijuana Grows.” Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a group that advocates for legal use of medical marijuana, later sent this article its California members in the ASA California Roundup of June 9, 2014.

All outdoor Medical Marijuana Grows in Lake County Have Not Been Banned

The headline is not correct. The county, which is Lake County, has not banned outdoor medical marijuana grows. It has placed restrictions on outdoor medical marijuana grows.

The third paragraph of Ferner’s article contains information that is closer to correct. Here, Ferner’s article states that Lake County has now banned outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana within community growth boundaries. A more accurate statement is that Lake County recently prohibited outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana on parcels within a Community Growth Boundary as designated by the Lake County General Plan, and on parcels one acre or smaller located outside any designated Community Growth Boundary. There are Community Growth Boundaries around the towns of Upper Lake, Nice, Clearlake Oaks, Lucerne, North Lakeport, Kelseyville, Soda Bay, Clearlake Riveria, Coyote Valley, Lower Lake, and Middletown.

The prohibition came as a result of the passing of Measure N in the June 3, 2014 election. The vote was 52.6% in favor of Measure N. Measure N was a referendum on Lake County Ordinance No. 2997. That ordinance, adopted by Lake County’s Board of Supervisors, regulated and restricted the cultivation of marijuana for medical use. Lake County Ordinance No. 2997 is now in effect.

The adoption of the ordinance is a blow to medical marijuana advocates. The Emerald Unity Coalition, an alliance of pro-cannabis reform groups, including ASA, has already submitted over the required number of signatures for a rival ballot measure. This measure, the Medical Marijuana Control Act, is less restrictive than Measure N. If Lake County’s Registrar of Voters approves the signatures, the Medical Marijuana Control Act will be on Lake County’s ballot in November 2014.


Lake County’s General Plan (2008)

Communities in Lake County’s General Plan

Lake County Election Results from June 3, 2014

Lake County Ordinance No. 2997 (pdf)

Emerald Unity Coalition

Pot activists submit rival measure for Lake County ballot

Proponents submit signatures to place Medical Marijuana Control Act on November ballot

Medical Marijuana Control Act (full text)



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