Butte County Medical Marijuana Ordinance Suspended by Petition Drive

Cal NORML Release – Jun. 22, 2011

Butte County activists submitted 12,308 signatures on a referendum petition to suspend the county’s controversial medical marijuana ordinance, which sharply limits patients’ right to grow their own medicine. The ordinance is now officially suspended for 30 days pending validation of the signatures. If, as seems likely, at least 7,600 are valid, the ordinance will remain suspended until it can be voted on in the November election.

The referendum petition was sponsored by Butte County Citizens for Compassionate Use. California NORML strongly endorses the Butte referendum effort, as the ordinance makes it impossible for many patients to exercise their Prop. 215 right to grow their own medicine.

This marks the second successful petition drive against a restrictive local medical marijuana ordinance. A San Diego city ordinance sharply restricting medical cannabis dispensaries was
suspended by the submission of 46,000 referendum signatures last month.

The Butte ordinance forbids any cultivation – indoors or out – on properties of less than 1/2 acre; limits gardens to 6 mature plants on properties of 1/2 to 1.5 acres; requires all gardens
over six plants to be registered with the County Dept of Development Services Gardens; and forbids any cultivation within 1,000 feet of schools, churches, parks, youth-oriented or residential treatment facilities. Cal NORML attorneys have filed a lawsuit against a similar anti-cultivation ordinance in Tehama County, which is presently in the process of appeal.

– Release by D. Gieringer, Cal NORML

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