LA County Initiates Temporary Marijuana Growing Ban

California, and specifically the City of Los Angeles, may be viewed as one of the most liberal-leaning states in the country, but that still doesn’t mean the growing of medical marijuana will be allowed carte blanche. According to Southern California Public Radio, Los Angeles County Supervisors voted earlier this month to temporarily ban the growing and cultivation of medical marijuana in the unincorporated areas of the county.

The ban, made effective immediately, was set to last 45 days but also can be extended up to two years. The supervisors also commissioned a research project on the effects growing medical marijuana has on the community overall. After recent legislation has allowed for the use of medical marijuana in the state many business-people and entrepreneurs have flocked to the area to try and secure land to start their own potentially lucrative growing operations.

“They’d look at pesticide use, water, electricity, and grading of land,” said Sari Steele, a lawyer for the county who worked on the ordinance.

Up until this ordinance, growers in California have been able to operate in the weird space between legal and illegal activity. Technically, marijuana prohibition is still on the books at the federal level, despite President Obama’s promises not to use resources prosecuting such cases.

On top of that, while the use of medical marijuana is legal at the state level in California, there are no laws regarding growing one way or the other. Since it wasn’t technically banned, growers could get away with it, but not anymore.

Medical marijuana has seen rapid growth and acceptance in recent years. Overall, about 58% of Americans now support legalization. That’s up astronomically from 2010 when the number was just 17%.

Aside from the research study that is being done, the results of this coming November election will also play a critical role in marijuana growing operations. The current LA County Supervisors, Mike Antonovich and Don Knabe, are leaving their posts due to term limits. Depending on who takes their seats, the new supervisors will play a role in future legislation.

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