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article imageSacramento county aims to shut down medical marijuana farms

By Simon Crompton     Apr 25, 2014 in Health
Sacramento - Sacramento County supervisors are on the road, looking for gardens growing marijuana, in a move to control California’s burgeoning pot farm industry.
Medical marijuana use is legal in California. Businesses who wish to sell marijuana for medical purposes must obtain a license to do so. The state has well defined laws outlining this. What it does not have are laws that clearly state who can and cannot grow the pot that feeds these businesses. Sacramento county officials seek to bring order to this dilemma.
What has ensued is the random proliferation of gardens near high schools and in empty barns, supplying these legal businesses and becoming issues in common neighborhoods.
Because of the lax laws on growers, a chaotic and unregulated marketplace has emerged, filled with medical dispensaries randomly found on street corners and some doctors even prescribing haphazardly.
What concerns officials the most are people using a medical assistant school list to source people able to handle and prescribe the drug.
Several states across the U.S. are slowly removing roadblocks to marijuana availability and usage, in tow of radical voter initiatives passed in Colorado and Washington in 2012, legalizing it for recreational use.
However, in California, usage is limited to medical purposes only.
Several cities and counties are now struggling to bring order to a system that has become unpredictable, yet thrives so well.
Sacramento county Sheriff Scott Jones told supervisors that marijuana plants have increased throughout the county because federal and state laws are unclear and prosecution is inconsistent.
“We’ve seen a profusion — an explosion — of marijuana grows,” Jones said.
Open fields have become dangerous, as owners defend their investments using weapons and dogs. Ten slayings currently under prosecution in the county have been linked to attempted marijuana theft, according to Sacramento County Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan.
On Tuesday, the board unanimously signaled its intent to approve MacGlashan's ordinance to cite these farms as public nuisances, which will be up for a final vote on May 13.
Currently, two state bills to regulate marijuana cultivation and distribution are weaving their way through the state legislature, but await a decision on who will oversee the rules. Contenders are health officials and the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
More about Marijuana, Medical Marijuana, Sacramento
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