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Outdoor pot farms worry neighbors

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Marijuana Growing
Legal? Not for long. If Concord officials have their way, outdoor pot cultivation could be banned within city limits. (Coleen Danger/Flickr)

Many of us have smelled it. Sure we have. Kinda skunky, kinda flowery, and absolutely distinctive.

The unmistakable aroma of marijuana. Not being smoked, but being grown. A pungent smell that effortlessly permeates silly little human constructs known as fences.

In many California cities and towns — like Concord — the outdoor growing and cultivation of marijuana can be completely legal — yet still attract a criminal element capable of following their nose.

A legal, collective outdoor marijuana growing operation in Concord is attracting attention from neighbors and law enforcement worried about the growers’ aromatic crop being a magnet for thieves and criminals.

The CoCoTimes and KTVU report the pot-growing operation has prompted residents to ask the Concord City Council to pass regulations banning outdoor marijuana cultivation.

Proposition 215 — passed in 1996 by California voters — permits patients and caregivers to grow and possess marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Concord Vice Mayor Bill Shinn told the CoCo Times he advocates a ban on outdoor pot growing in his city:

“They end up becoming victims of home invasions. Unless we have an absolute ability to control it, it just gets out of hand.”

Concord officials point to Moraga as one local city who has successfully limited the cultivation of pot within its limits. Moraga outlawed outdoor pot growing in 2011.

Moraga’s police chief, Robert Priebe told the CoCo Times he’s been pleased with the results:

“It’s worked out well. We have had no issues.”

Jesse Garnier
Jesse Garnier is the editor and founder of SFBay. A Mission District native, he also teaches journalism as assistant professor at San Francisco State University.

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