Proposed pot ordinance upsets a Fresno County town

FRESNO, Calif.

The proposed pot ordinance would essentially push the cultivation of medical marijuana to rural areas like Selma, Fowler, and Kingsburg. Monday night the council at Selma's city hall took the first step in sending a strong message to the County Board of Supervisors that they don't want the plant being grown in their backyard.

The Selma city council voted unanimously Monday night to send a letter to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors laying out their displeasure with the proposed pot ordinance.

Under the proposal, medical marijuana could legally be cultivated in industrial areas of Fresno County including the areas along Highway 99 and Golden State that run through Malaga -- Fowler -- Selma -- and Kingsburg.

Selma Mayor Ken Grey lacks confidence when it comes to the sheriff's office and its ability to enforce the law in those places. "The people who are going to call for services, whether it'd be fire or police protection. They're going to call the city of Selma. We're being impacted with a dilemma that's not of our making and yet we're the ones who are going to be asked to be the first line of defense."

County Supervisor Henry Perea however has no doubts Sheriff Margaret Mims can enforce the proposed ordinance. "If someone chooses to go to an industrial area that she will absolutely put officers there ready to respond to any issues."

The proposed pot ordinance is filled with a laundry list of requirements including a secure building with surveillance cameras and a posted security guard during the hours of operation which are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

It's still not enough to convince Selma city council member Jim Avalos that this is a good idea. He told Action News before Monday's meeting that these collectives would entice criminals to his city. "Because they'll say ohh don't worry about it. You can grow it here. It'll be like 7-11 out of nowhere. It'll be like a McDonalds after a while."

"I think Selma moving forward with a kind of letter that they're going to send to the county board saying hey re-think your position or let's talk about it," said Perea. "Absolutely we should have been talking, as a matter of fact we should have been talking to them about it already."

And I'm told that letter has been drafted and it's ready to be sent out Tuesday.

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