CONCORD — Growing pot outdoors is no longer an option for medical marijuana patients and caregivers.
Despite pleas from medical marijuana users, the City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to ban the cultivation of medical marijuana outdoors.
Council members said while they understand the medical benefits of marijuana, the risks to public safety were too great.
“It’s up to the council to do a balancing act and weigh what is good for all in the community,” said Councilman Ron Leone. “My chief concern that I have is safety.”
City Attorney Mark Coon, who recommended the ban, said the city would begin enforcing it in two to three months after warning people who currently grow medical marijuana in their backyards. The ban will be enforced by city code enforcement officers responding to citizen complaints.
It restricts growing medical pot to inside occupied residential units. Under the ordinance, any pot grown indoors cannot be seen from any public place, such as a sidewalk.
The ban would expand the city’s regulations on medical marijuana. The council banned pot dispensaries in 2005.
By David DeBolt
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