Medical Grower Faces $250 a Day Fine Until Plants Are Cut Down
By Keith Mansur
Oregon Cannabis Connection
September 22, 2016 – Medford Police Department’s Code Enforcement cited Jason Osborne today, a resident in the town growing who is growing medical marijuana in his back yard, a commonplace practice in recent years but now a “code violation” that can apparently cost $250.00 per day if not brought into compliance.
Osborne was featured on Rogue Cannabis Radio on September 6th, a couple of weeks after he was visited by code enforcement and “warned” about the non-compliant grow in his back yard. He has grown at that address for three years , but this year was the first time he had a visit from the Medford Police.
“We never had a problem until this year” Osborne told Oregon Cannabis Connection. “It doesn’t seem fair to treat medical marijuana patients this way.”
Medford’s city council passed a ordinance last year that banned growing more than 4 plants outside in the city limit. The ordinance, which is likely overreaching in scope, prevents medical marijuana patients from growing in their own yards this year. In previous years there were many thousands of growers that grew, some as many as 24 plants or more, with only 27 complaints in 12 months over last year.
“This is exactly what I anticipated would happen…Its a very slippery slope to litigation because it is possibly not a reasonable regulation allowable under state law,” Clay Bearnson told Oregon Cannabis Connection. “Also, it’s a complete waste of resources.”
Medford has 3 initiatives referred to the ballot by the city council for the November ballot dealing with marijuana:
Measure 15-144 is a referendum that bans recreational cannabis sales, which is currently banned in Medford. Voting NO overturns the current and proposed ban.
Measure 15-145 is an uncommon “sales” tax on that recreational marijuana of 3%, if approved, which is the maximum allowable sales tax that can be imposed on the plant and its products.
Measure 15-166 is the last referral and it would ban ALL outdoor growing in the city of Medford. No medical, no recreational, nothing outside in residential zoned areas. A NO vote continues the current 4 plant outdoor limit.
None of these will provide relief to Osborne, since there would be no change to the 4 plant limit the city now imposes. And, the first visit by code enforcement was a month ago, what took them so long to show up? Now harvest is next month.
“At this point, its only a few weeks until harvest, so it seems unwarranted, really,” explained Osborne. “I really do feel like its not fair for the decision whether or not I can grow my medical garden lies in the hands of a disgruntled neighbor.”
Feature Image: Jason Osborne
© 2016 Oregon Cannabis Connection. All rights reserved.