The Grants Pass City Council recently passed an illegal ordinance
to ban growing marijuana by sunlight. In the name of saving neighbors from the stink of pot plants, they will allow only indoor growing, under lights. We can't even use a greenhouse. And if any scent escapes one's building, they will levy daily fines of $250.
The crop I legally planted by seed after July 1 is illegal under their ordinance. But their ordinance is illegal under Oregon law. SB 863 (2013), which became ORS 633.738
, reserves regulation of plant agriculture and anything to do with it to the state; local governments may not enact or enforce any local measure or ordinance that inhibits or prevents the production of an agricultural item. This was passed in 2013 in response to Jackson County voters petitioning to ban GMOs, and therefore exempts that county's GMO ordinance only. Measure 91
allows local governments "reasonable regulation of time, place and manner" of growing marijuana for commercial Recreational producers, and the legislature passed House Bill 3400
, which amends the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act
to allow local governments to enact particular reasonable regulation ordinances. But these apply only to licensed producers, not unlicensed homegrowers.
The Councilors and Mayor were told that their ordinance would conflict with this law well before they passed it by our State Representative, Carl Wilson, in a July 30th email
. He also praised our wonderful weather and pointed out the problems that growing indoors under lights can cause for the electrical system and wastewater treatment plant. Some councilors, in their deliberations, seized on the latter remarks to say that they should ban growing pot in the city completely. But they never mentioned that what they were passing is illegal.
July 15th, they passed a nuisance code that banned outdoor "homegrown" immediately, and medical outdoor growing on January 1, 2016, to allow medical growers to harvest their current crop and give their patients their medicine. Since it was passed as an emergency, we cannot put it to a referendum; we must sue to protect our rights and request an injunction to stop enforcement of this illegal ordinance.
I have defended myself at trial before. I know how little respect the self-represented get from judges. This needs an attorney. I have retained Robert Graham to represent me, borrowing $5000 to do it.
I garden other people's yards for a living. Many other other poor people have long looked forward to legally growing our own marijuana and sharing it with family and friends. We were told, "If you don't like the law, change it." We changed it. Please help me stop the City of Grants Pass from enforcing this illegal ordinance by donating to the Homegrown Defense Fund, to keep this suit going when my retainer runs out.