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When the medical pot restrictions of Fresno County kicked in this summer, Eric Northrup did not stop growing his marijuana plants. He claimed that he needs the drug to treat depression and anxiety, insisting that it is his right to keep the plants at his Auberry home.
Still, the new county law prohibiting marijuana harvesting outside of a handful of industrial areas make Northrup a little bit troubled about his garden. He said, “I have to worry about someone coming to my house and telling me I can’t do this. I’d like to be a law-abiding citizen.”
Today, the Board of Supervisors is thinking of loosening the ordinance on medical marijuana that is in effect within the county. Northrup would be on the right side of the law once the changes are implemented.
Among the considerations being pondered upon by supervisors is making it legal for medical-marijuana patients to grow the drug in their homes, whether inside or outside.
Another thing that is being considered, and closely monitored by the medical marijuana community, is allowing storefront dispensaries, within industrial areas, in Fresno County. At present, new dispensaries are being banned while the existing ones must be shut down by March.
The proposed modifications were put forward by the citizens group that the supervisors commissioned to review the medical marijuana law of the county. While the recommendations of the group mirror the consensus of a diverse panel, which is made up of advocates and opponents of the drug, the changes to the ordinance will not come easily.
Of the five supervisors, four have remained skeptical about the local medical marijuana trade, claiming it is largely a cover for recreational drug use. Their positions were only reinforced by staunch opposition coming from the Sheriff’s Office.