The City of Ripon is in the process of working out a few changes to the law regulating recreational marijuana use.
This has to do with California voters recently passing Proposition 64 that not only legalized marijuana but also created the state licensing framework for cultivation, distribution and sales of recreational use.
“We have to wait on how the state law plays out,” said Ripon Police Chief Ed Ormonde at the recent Ripon City Council meeting.
Elected leaders approved the staff recommendation, amending the municipal code chapter that prohibits all outdoor cultivation of marijuana for personal use while establishing limits on indoor cultivation (for personal use) and requiring permits for all indoor growers.
They also agreed to amend the chapter that “prohibits the opening, establishment and operation of all businesses engaged in commercial marijuana activities within the City of Ripon.”
The latter is also known as medical marijuana dispensaries, which were prohibited here about a year ago.
The amendments were first discussed at the December meeting. No changes were requested back then, Ormonde said.
“What are the laws (in Ripon) on the transportation of marijuana,” Councilman Leo Zuber asked at the Jan 10 meeting.
“Marijuana can be transported through town but (the driver) cannot stop,” Ormonde said. “If a resident goes to a (out of town) dispensary to buy marijuana, he or she can bring it back to the residence.”
City Attorney Tom Terpstra said that the state is currently allowing cities such as Ripon to make their own laws on this matter.
This much is known: marijuana, in terms of individual rights, is now regulated similarly to that of alcohol, according to a staff report by Ormonde and Terpstra.
Those using, possessing, purchasing, obtaining or giving it away must be age 21 or older “without compensation whatsoever, not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana not in the form of concentrated cannabis.”
Any form of concentrated cannabis – including anything contained in marijuana products – is also prohibited.
Those looking cultivate, harvest, dry, or process plants would be limited to six living marijuana plants.
Marijuana can only be smoked or ingested in the privacy of one’s home, for the most part, under this new state law.
The Health and Safety Code prohibits smoking marijuana in any place where smoking tobacco is unlawful or within 1,000 feet of a school, day care or youth center. It’s also illegal to smoke or be under the influence of the drug while getting behind the wheel of any vehicle – car, boat, aircraft, etc.
Council waived the first reading, with staff bringing back the amendments for a second reading and possibly adoption at an upcoming session.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.