Protesters Demonstrate at Nevada County Board of Supervisors Meeting Over Marijuana Ordinance

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NEVADA CITY -- The Nevada County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance restricting the growing of medical marijuana in the county even though a total ban in the county was defeated soundly in the June election.

Dozens of protesters demonstrated just before Tuesday's board meeting and many more packed the board chambers.

"We won by 20 points, and they act like they won," said Patricia Smith of Americans for Safe Access.

The ordinance allows growing 25 plants but only if the property is 20 acres or more. Residential grows are allowed but only if your house is on at least 2 acres. Protesters say the restrictions make it impossible for most people to grow their needed medicine.

Forrest Hurd says his young son's life depends on medical marijuana treatments.

"Families have to break the law in order to save their child's life," said Hurd.

But county staffers told the board that they reduced the number of plants allowed because they didn't want to run afoul of costly and time-consuming environmental impact laws. Nuisance complaints prompted the requirements for larger properties. They said the goal was to push cultivation to agricultural areas.

Some board members said earlier that some pot growing rules would have to be implemented even if the total ban were overturned .

The ordinance that was adopted after several hours of testimony are for a temporary ordinance.

The county staff says more public input from stakeholders will be taken before a permanent ordinance is put in place.

Some protesters complained that their input was not taken seriously. The ordinance takes effect in January after this year's growing season.