Petition to Grants Pass City Manager Aaron Cubic
Leave marijuana growers alone; target litter and weeds
On July 1, the day that marijuana became legal to possess and grow in Oregon, I planted seeds in my greenhouse. That evening, the Grants Pass City Council started to pass a nuisance code to ban outdoor marijuana in the city, and defining a greenhouse such that a greenhouse or sunroom would be out of compliance. We would have to grow pot under lights, with fans and filters, or not at all.
They would force us to grow it only in our primary residence, in a highly secure grow room, not allowing any sight, sign or scent of marijuana growing, processing or storage outside of that room—outside or inside our homes.
They did this in the name of protecting thieves from their own worst impulses, under the theory that growing marijuana is an “attractive nuisance” to thieves. Attractive nuisance statutes are usually written to protect children and idiots, who might get hurt by property such as swimming pools and junk refrigerators and cars. This is the first one that I’ve seen written to protect thieves.
The smell of pot plants matters in this ordinance only as a sign of cultivation. If anyone complains about the scent of skunk or cat urine, (in a city where skunks and cats run widely and stink often) undue traffic, excessive parking, excessive light, or excessive noise, cops can get a search warrant and snoop around our yard and inside our house to see if we are growing and if they can find any sign of it outside that grow room. If they find such signs, they can eventually declare our property a nuisance and abate the nuisance, presumably by taking our plants, and fine us up to $720 per day of continuing violation.
They would never do this to themselves, their recreation, or their medicine, to protect thieves, idiots or children. What business do they have, specifying our security measures, telling us how to protect our crops from thieves, in a manner which makes it impractical to grow the crop at all? Do they do this against any other legal activity or product?
We have real nuisances and proper nuisance codes against them, which are not enforced. Litter and seeding weeds bring down neighborhood property values; attract thieves, vagrants and vandals; make it harder to garden and maintain property; pop bike tires; make our town unattractive to orderly, respectable people; and make our people look lazy.
You were told by your performance auditor that you need to enforce our landscape maintenance codes; that enforcement by complaint is not enforcement, is not fair to people who pay you to enforce the law, and does not work. The city takes and ignores complaints until a property becomes a fire safety hazard, and then abates the nuisance at 20% over cost, profiting off of growing safety hazards while making us put up with continual nuisances. It would be kinder to everyone and far safer to warn the residents and owners when the mess is small and easy to clean up and stop growing hazards to be harvested.
Please stay enforcement of the “Homegrownand Medical Marijuana” nuisance code Chapter 5.72 until its validity is fully litigated, and to actively enforce our litter and weed codes to start cleaning up this city and make it safer and easier to live in.
September 18, 2015 advisory petition, circulated at 6th and G on Saturdays, 11:00-1:00. Longer version online at Change.org, https://t.co/l7oJgGKeGc
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Rycke Brown, Natural Gardener 541-955-9040 firstname.lastname@example.org