In Lakeport, California, Judge David Herrick has granted a temporary restraining order to four medical marijuana growers who worry that a 45-day interim marijuana cultivation ordinance could cause their crops to be taken away and destroyed.
The judge’s order only applies to the four marijuana cultivators included in the case, not every grower in the city.
On July 9 the city’s Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance which sets limits on marijuana cultivation. The ordinance allows only 6 plants to be grown outdoors on a half acre or less, 2 plants with a 75-foot setback on parcels of half an acre to one acre, 18 plants and a 150-foot setback on parcels one to five acres in size, 36 plants and a minimum 150 foot setback on five- to 40-acre parcels, and a maximum of 48 plants on parcels 40 acres and larger.
City officials claimed that they would not go after smaller grows that exceeded the limits. Instead, their intention in passing the ordinance was to eradicate large grows that have gotten out of hand and growers who are creating dangerous environments.
The attorney for the four growers, Joe Elford, explained that his clients sought out the restraining order to ensure that the city officials stayed true to their word. According to Elford, his clients are “people who need more marijuana than the law allows.” They do not have the economic means to grow indoors or to buy their medical marijuana from a collective.
According to Elford, the city’s ordinance directly contradicts the growing allowances that are outlined by California state law. Ultimately, he is not asking for his clients to be exempt from the city’s ordinance, but instead he is asking for the city’s ordinance to be changed to align with California’s Compassionate Use Act and the Medical Marijuana Program Act.
A hearing to show cause for a preliminary injunction will be held on August 15th. Until then, the plaintiffs will be protected under the temporary restraining order.