Governing boards for Fresno and Tulare counties will look to update their ordinances next week to keep as tight a grip as possible on marijuana in the wake of statewide legalization in last month’s election.
The boards of supervisors in Fresno and Tulare counties will each discuss new pot rules at their Tuesday meetings. Both appear poised to continue drawing hard lines on marijuana – despite the movement toward acceptance by state voters.
Fresno County Counsel Dan Cederborg said the board will consider temporary laws banning all commercial cultivation, as well as growing or smoking marijuana outdoors in private residences. The county’s $1,000 per-plant fine will remain in effect, as will all rules banning medical marijuana outdoor growth. These ordinances affect those living in unincorporated areas of Fresno County – not residents of cities like Fresno or Clovis.
Proposition 64 made it legal for all Californians over 21 to possess 1 ounce of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrated marijuana on their persons and six marijuana plants inside their homes. Smoking or consuming cannabis is legal, but it is not legal to use pot in public or in a privately owned area where it could disturb others – like a backyard in a residential neighborhood.
Cederborg pointed out that the law gives local governments the authority to impose bans on commercial efforts – grows, dispensaries, laboratories and so on. No ordinance can override any of the actions made legal through state law.
Tulare County’s proposed ordinances are nearly identical. They call for an immediate ban on commercialization and activities not legalized through Proposition 64. The staff report notes that despite state law changing, marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
Like Fresno County, Tulare County has opposed medical marijuana commercialization for years. However, at least one medical marijuana dispensary in Goshen, CannaCanHelp, operates legally because it existed before the Tulare County bans.
Although 58 percent of Californians as a whole approved Proposition 64, voters in both counties rejected it. About 53 percent of Fresno County residents voted no, while nearly 56 percent of Tulare County voters opposed it.
Neither Kings nor Madera counties had items related to marijuana on their board agendas.