Judge Lifts Fresno County Ban On Outdoor Marijuana Gardens


Photo: KMPH
First, patients could grow outdoor medical marijuana gardens like this one in Fresno County. Then they couldn’t. Now they can again.

‚ÄčA judge on Wednesday lifted a Fresno County, California ban on outdoor marijuana gardens.

The 45-day ban had been imposed by supervisors last month after several violent confrontations between thieves and backyard medical cannabis growers, reports Eddie Jimenez of The Fresno Bee. The ban was instituted while a permanent ordinance for unincorporated areas of Fresno County is being drafted.
Superior Court Judge Jeff Hamilton on Wednesday issued a temporary restraining order that blocks enforcement of the ban. Attorney Brenda Linder, who on behalf of four medical marijuana collectives and one patient, filed a lawsuit Friday, sought the injunction.
Judge Hamilton will hear arguments November 3 on whether to grant a preliminary injunction against the ordinance, Linder said.

If granted, the injunction would stop county officials from enforcing the garden ban until the lawsuit is resolved, according to Linder.
The emergency ban created fear among medical marijuana patients who were hesitant to call the Sheriff’s Department if thieves stole their plants, Linder said.
“They didn’t want to be viewed as criminals,” Linder said.
The Board of Supervisors will discuss what to do next in light of Judge Hamilton’s ruling, according to County Counsel Kevin Briggs.
“The county is disappointed in the issuance of the temporary restraining order, and we will be talking to the board about appropriate responses,” Briggs said.
Supervisor Henry Perea in September claimed he proposed the ordinance because of recent violence of cannabis grows inside Fresno city limits, including four shootings, one of which resulted in a fatality.
Perea lashed out at medical marijuana advocates at the time, claiming they have “turned a well-intentioned law into a sham.”
“We’ve created a situation where they are abusing the law, the county, and the board,” Perea claimed, seemingly much more concerned about harassing patients than about protecting them from robbers.