ACLU Sues Over MMJ Cultivation Ban

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California is suing the City and County of Fresno over its ban on medical marijuana cultivation.

The lawsuit argues that the ban violates the state’s 2004 MMJ law, which allows qualified patients to possess up to 12 immature or six mature plants and up to half a pound of dried marijuana.

Cities can set limits on cultivation, the suit claims, but cannot outright ban it under the law.

The Fresno City Council voted to ban indoor medical cannabis grows in March, following a move to prohibit all outdoor cultivation in Fresno County the previous month.

The lawsuit could impact not only home growers but also commercial cultivation businesses in California, because it challenges a recent state Supreme Court ruling that allows local bans.

The suit is being filed on behalf of two Fresno patients, Joan Byrd and Susan Juvet. Byrd, a former Fresno County Sheriff’s Department employee, said she requires medical marijuana to battle her fibromyalgia, osteoporosis and stomach problems.