Prop. 64 gives property owners the right to grow up to six plants. It also gives Plumas the right to regulate indoor growing. What should the county do?
Let’s look at the pros and cons.
1. Convenience. Residents can monitor cultivation, plant health, watering schedule, and “harvesting” from inside the home.
2. Cost. It’s cheaper to grow six plants in a residence than it is to build a “hoop house” or (if required) a secure, permanent building outside.
3. Security. While home, resident need not peer out windows to monitor his outdoor grow to keep thieves from stealing plants (or his crop at or near harvest time).
1. Space. Indoor “living space” is displaced by “gardening space.” Less space is available for sleeping, bathing, cooking, or entertaining.
2. Cultivation. Pot plants require more care than typical “low light” indoor plants. They require more watering and soil nutrient management and custom lighting. And automatic watering is not as easy as it is outside.
3. Air quality. High humidity can be uncomfortable during summer months and can foster mold or dry rot (particularly offensive to landlords). And if outdoor venting is not possible (or feasible), the odor that cannabis plants emit—especially near or at harvest—can be practically intolerable.
4. Security. Every visitor will know the homeowner or renter is growing marijuana. This increases the potential for theft of plants and valuables.
5. Safety. Home invasion and robbery could place families at risk. The temptation to rob a residence of its valuable cannabis plants will surely increase crime in our county.
6. Parenting. For adults growing for medical use, the presence of children introduces a conflict with federal law in both cultivation and consumption. Children in homes of recreational growers and users, face decreased chances of waiting till adulthood or avoiding smoking of any kind (as with tobacco). Children learn from adults and those with cannabis-using parents (and their friends) will more likely begin smoking pot and sharing it with their friends. They will also be at risk from second-hand smoke.
7. Landlords. Many landlords will not tolerate complaints from neighbors about odors and rental agreement violations. They will also not tolerate tenants damaging their properties with persistent odors and potential mold and fire damage. And because THCs from marijuana are depressants, unlike nicotine, which is a stimulant, users are more likely to sleep through fires.
We strongly suggest that Plumas County encourage indoor growers to use filtration systems and ensure safe electrical limits. We also encourage renters to respect their landlord’s property and to abide by rental agreements that prohibit cannabis growing and/or smoking of any kind.
We respect Prop. 64 and its granting of rights for property owners to grow marijuana plants. We also respect our county’s right—per Prop. 64—to reasonably regulate indoor growing. We feel strongly that this will help ensure the safety and wellbeing of our residents and children.