Officials in Medford, Oregon have grumbled about the odor of marijuana for some time now, but they are now considering a regulation that would fine growers if their crop is too smelly. The city staff drafted an ordinance that states recreational and medical growers whose operations are considered to be too smelly will be fined up to $250 a day, and if they don’t comply then they could have their crop seized. In addition to keeping the odor under control, cultivators would also need to keep plants locked away and out of sight.
Oregon legalized medical marijuana in the 1990s, and ever since some have complained about the smell. Council members have now decided to act on the issue as the state voters passed recreational marijuana legislature in November.
“Is there a prohibition on all noxious odors or just marijuana, which some people wouldn’t think is a noxious odor? My suspicion is that they don’t and this is nothing more than a veiled attempt to undermine implementation of the ballot measure,” said American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon Executive Director David Fidanque.
City Attorney Kevin McConnell elaborated on the point, saying, “My argument would be that it’s more of a general question about what’s the societal norm here in Medford? Is the smell of marijuana a normal smell? That’s up to the council to decide.”