This was a difficult decision that a number of my strongest supporters disagreed with me on.
Back in January of 2014, the City Council banned all outdoor growth of marijuana within the City. I voted for this because some houses were being used as ‘grow houses’ where the entire lot was dedicated to growing. The police and the neighbors made a convincing case that these houses created a public nuisance by bringing criminal elements to the area.
While this ban helped the situation, grow houses moved their operations indoors which allowed the problem to continue. Indeed, complaints from neighbors of grow houses continued. Thus, the Police Department recommended extending the ban to indoor growth as well. The Council unanimously supported the PD’s decision.
I understand that a number of people use medical marijuana for legitimate reasons. I empathize with them. I also know that marijuana use is a real problem in our schools and that many students obtain marijuana illegally from people growing it within Fremont. I talked with representatives from the School Board who supported the indoor growth ban as a way to reduce marijuana use in our schools.
A big factor in my decision was that this new ordinance does not criminalize marijuana growth. If someone is found to be growing, they are required to remove their growing operation.