Riverside County Supervisors Move Forward With Proposed Crackdown on Marijuana Grows
The Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to move forward with an interim ordinance which would impose escalating fines for marijuana cultivation in unincorporated parts of the county. A hearing was scheduled for September 23 when the ordinance will officially be introduced. If accepted, it would take approximately 45 days to implement.
The proposed ordinance is the brainchild of Supervisor Kevin Jeffries and is aimed at preventing the kind of large-scale grow operations which have flourished in Mead Valley, Good Hope and Meadowbrook over the past year.
"Many of the neighbors are scared to death," Jeffries said, noting that "the proliferation of marijuana groves increases the risk of criminal activity, degradation of the natural environment, and often results in illegal electrical and water connections and alterations."
Under the new rule, fines of $200 would be imposed on those who grow seven to eleven plants. Those who grow twelve or more could face fines up to $1,000 plus six months in jail.
Tuesday’s vote followed a small protest by medical marijuana advocates outside of the County Administrative Center. The protestors, many of them medical marijuana patients, worry that the ordinance could make it more difficult for people to obtain their medication. In response, Jeffries has insisted that large-scale, for-profit operations are the intended targets of the ordinance.
“I do not want public safety resources spent going after a handful of plants,” Jeffries said.
Read more about proposed ordinance here.