Fresno County Supervisors extend ban on outdoor marijuana gardens

FRESNO, Calif.

Last month the Fresno County Supervisors passed an ordinance to ban outdoor marijuana growing. It came in response to thefts and shootings at medical marijuana gardens. But a judge granted a temporary restraining order stopping enforcement. Despite that, the board voted Tuesday to extend the unenforceable ordinance for another ten months. But Supervisor Susan Anderson dissented. "We're setting up a situation where we're telling the public we're having this rule but the reality is there is no enforcement."

But Supervisor Henry Perea argued there were 100,000 marijuana plants growing in the Valley, he felt this ordinance needed to be in place while the county came up with an enforceable measure.

Anderson adds, "This ordinance is not going to reduce the number of plants being grown by one plant. So we're doing overkill."

Perea responds, "That's not true. That's not true."

The attorney who challenged the county was surprised the county would extend the same ordinance. Rebecca Linder said, "You might think the county would go in a different direction in order to work with us better on this, or to work in something in the better interests of county citizens in general rather than extending an ordinance that's already got issues."

Despite the doubts about whether it can stand a majority of the supervisors approved the measure. "I think we do need to send a message that we don't want indiscriminate growth of marijuana throughout our county," said Judy Case.

A judge is expected to rule on whether the county can enforce a ban outdoor grows at a hearing early next month.

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