MARIJUANA GROW HOUSES: How many plants are too many?

CALIFORNIA: Hopefully you will remember the story The Press-Enterprise wrote about the houses in Eastvale that had been converted into marijuana grow-houses.

We also wrote about the Special Enforcement Team deputies who uproot these operations.

Well, the other day we received an email from an anonymous person who mentioned these Eastvale farming operations and correctly pointed out that there is no limit to the number of plants you can grow for medicinal-marijuana use. Good enough.

I ran this person’s letter past a law-enforcement officer I know, and he pointed out something that the letter-writer left out: Why, if these people who are growing marijuana in Eastvale are doing so for legitimate medicinal purposes, did they illegally bypass the electrical system? And why did they damage the property they were renting by making wholesale changes to the house?

Anyway, here is the letter from the marijuana advocate, word for word. These are his opinions, not ours.

City to pass anti-pot growing ordinance soon. The City needs to be very careful in doing it so they don’t trash the rights of qualified patients who grow their own lawful medicine. One size does not fit all. Not everyone who uses med marijuana is a pot head, a drug addict, or to ‘get high’.

“Take caution and Note that Prop 215 does not establish any limits on where or the amount of med marijuana qualified patients can cultivate for themselves; none whatsoever. The Legislature tried to limit how many plants can be grown by a qualified patient, and the state Supreme Court ruled that was an “unconstitutional amendment of Prop 215″ because the voters did not vote on any such numerical limits; People v. Kelley.

“Any anti-pot growing ordinance the City adopts must also pass the Kelley “unconstitutional amendment” test with regard to a qualified patients right to grow their own medicine; don’t even go there. Do not lump all qualified patients and lawful cultivation together with the illegal ‘grow-houses’ Eastvale has been beleaguered with.

“For example – DEA uses a 100-plant ‘rule-of-thumb’ to distinguish between an illegal commercial growing operation and other planting practices; like for a cooperative cultivation project. Reference the CA AG Guidelines for further distinctions.

“Prop 215 provides an unqualified right for patients with a valid Recommendation to cultivate their own lawful medicine. Under such conditions, The City needs to be prudent in its rush and quest to deal with illegal ‘grow-houses’ and not trample patients rights to do so in their own home.

“In terms of renters and cultivation, include a clause in the Rental Agreement to forbid it; or the conditions under which in can be done. The law allows some latitude, either way. The problem is illegal commercial growing operations (grow-houses). Don’t mix that with a qualified patient cultivating their own lawful medicine for their own personal use for medicinal purposes.

“Under the provisions of Prop 215 – no city can ban or prohibit the cultivation of med marijuana by a qualified patient for their own personal use; not outdoors or indoors. If they do – it is an “unconstitutional amendment” of Prop 215. Focus on the problem: illegal grow-houses.”


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