Marijuana Regulators Target Home Cultivation

  • by Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Director January 18, 2017

    marijuana_seedlingSince its founding, NORML has advocated that statewide legalization efforts – whether through a ballot initiative or using the legislative process – should ideally include provisions that permit and protect the act of home cultivation by marijuana consumers. This advocacy has resulted in more than 16 states now allowing home cultivation, including in six of the eight voter-initiated measures passed in 2016.

    But although there has been a tremendous amount of progress on this issue, it appears that home cultivation is now at risk in several municipalities across Colorado and California. Local and state lawmakers in both jurisdictions are revisiting the issue and are moving toward unnecessarily limiting adult’s home cultivation rights.

    Most recently, representatives with Denver’s Office of Marijuana Policy revealed a plan to, “limit unlicensed recreational and medical grows in private residences,” throughout the city of Denver. This decision came after months of closed-door meetings between regulators and leading marijuana industry interests such as the Marijuana Industry Group (MIG); which together, form what’s being called the, “Non-Licensed Marijuana Grows Inspection Team.

    personal_cultivationAlthough there has been little to no mention of specific details regarding this proposed program, many are anticipating the new regulations to resemble those that have come under fire in Indian Wells, California. In that city, lawmakers are pushing for regulations mandating that anyone who wishes to cultivate marijuana in their home must purchase an annual permit and must also allow inspectors into their residence. This amounts to an absolutely unnecessary burden for responsible, law-abiding citizens.

    In recent days, Denver NORML became inundated with emails, messages and comments on social media demanding a response to what many believe is a blatant overreach by city government officials. In response, members of Denver NORML, led by Executive Director, Jordan Person, began mobilizing volunteers to contact members of the Denver City Council with the goal of defending the rights and privacy of marijuana consumers in the city of Denver.

    “With all of the uncertainty we are expecting in 2017 at both the local and state level our goal at Denver NORML is to help maintain our rights as residents of Colorado to grow in our homes,” said Person. “We will keep our members and supporters informed and part of the conversation as it happens.”

    While it’s obvious that there’s a tremendous amount of work that goes into regulating Colorado’s legal marijuana industry, most marijuana consumers would never support any effort that would attempt to bring similar regulations into the privacy of their homes. Not to mention the fact that the creation of a task force or any other bureaucratic process to approve and/or oversee the cultivation of marijuana in a private residence amounts to a severe misuse of tax dollars and violation of privacy when those limited resources could be dedicated to combating actual problems in our communities.

    marijuana_growerWithout providing any data points related to the correlation between home cultivation and out-of-state diversion, those advocating for tighter regulations deserve to fail in their attempt to convince marijuana consumers that allowing regular visits from government officials in their homes is a good idea. Adults who brew their own beer are not subject to inspections by the state and neither should those who choose to grow personal use quantities of marijuana. Furthermore, criminalizing the personal cultivation of marijuana is an arbitrary prohibition that has absolutely no basis in public safety. Therefore NORML will continue to support the right of individuals to grow their own marijuana as an alternative to purchasing it from licensed commercial producers.

    To join the fight to protect home cultivation, check out NORML’s action page by visiting http://norml.org/act or for more information, please email Chapters@NORML.org.

    61 responses to “Marijuana Regulators Target Home Cultivation”

    1. TheOracle says:

      No way they should be allowed in your home, and no way should you have to buy a permit for home cultivation! If the city government has evidence on someone then they should investigate a commercial operation masquerading as a personal home grow. City just wants money, and they can get that off the tourists and cannabis coffeeshops. You want money, allow consumption on the premises.

    2. Ken Long says:

      Just follow the money.
      They want to control production and sales.
      They want to maintain high prices and tax revenues.
      Home growing is not easily taxable and threatens their control and tax revenues.

      • moldy says:

        The reason we grow is because we can afford high black market prices or legal black market prices. An oz costs about 20 bucks to grow and if you’re retired you have no choice.

    3. Cat Cassie says:

      And so it starts.

    4. Doug Nickerson says:

      I understand that they are concerned about home grown contributing to the black market, but reducing the number of plants homeowners are allowed to grow, is just totally illogical. How could anybody in their right mind think that someone selling home grown marijuana whom could face a fine $5,000 and up to 2 years in jail, would think that type of person would deter by reducing the limit plant which holds of $300 for the violation of the limit. Hopefully the legislators make decisions that are more rational than what is being considered, otherwise they have no right to be running our government.

      • Bob Constantine says:

        It is illogical to have a thing, “government” use systemic force as it’s primary means and then think it can also be the thing that will protect you from people who coerce.

        • MSimon says:

          Coercion is the back up tool (or the primary tool) of every government effort.

          Some government appears necessary. The less the better. Has Prohibition taught us anything?

        • Mark Mitcham says:

          I agree. It’s a little like being told “The beatings will continue until morale improves.” It’s a darkly funny threat, because the illogical absurdity of the threat reveals the true nature of the hostile relationship. It reveals the bully who intends to dominate you by force.

          It’s important, when faced with such cruelty, to stand up to the bully, isn’t it?

          Yet, we need to see our options clearly. One option we all would prefer to avoid is that of being a coward. Yet it’s human nature to be cowards, as well as bullies — two sides of the same coin.

          Bullies use force — that’s the problem. Tell them “no”, and you get a bloody nose! (Or in the case of marijuana prohibition, they shoot your dog, take your house and car, and send you to federal prison. And that’s if you’re white!)

          So standing up to them is easier to say than do. The bully says, “Might makes right, as fear makes clear.” If a punch in the nose doesn’t ensure your compliance, chopping off your fingers one at a time, will do it. Get the picture? Now you’re ready to give them whatever the hell they want!

          This is what I expect from Trump: cruelty and violence. Remember, he openly endorsed torture. “A hell of a lot worse than waterboarding” is what gets him off; we all saw him say it during the campaign. That’s real — you can’t have a human soul and say shit like that.

          By legalizing marijuana, we do not eliminate the bully; but via harm reduction, we remove many more people from his cruel reach. This, I believe, makes legalization worthwhile, despite the lack of resolution of the underlying problem, the existence and nature of the bully himself.

    5. Anonymous says:

      What are the laws in the different legal states.. If you’re allowed to grow for personal use,,, there’s a reasonable number of plants… If they’re growing 200 plants, they’ve got a business going that probably is subject to taxes and business regulations… And large grows, especially in residential homes can be hazardous..
      If I just had a plant or two on the back porch I wouldn’t worry about this…
      There’s going to be a lot more to worry about very soon.

    6. Galileo Galilei says:

      I fondly remember growing my own back in my hippie commune days.

    7. Miles says:

      Forgive my language, but I really hate the fuckers that push for this kind of imposing and un-American legislation. Are we a free people living in a democratic society or not?

      As far as I’m concerned, these small minded jerks should leave the country and live somewhere their thoughts would be shared by those around them; perhaps China or Iran!

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        If you’ve ever had to depend on a shit job from Corporate America, and had to endure the wage thefts, verbal abuse, write-ups and suspensions, and other heavy-handed tactics used by Corporate America to take whatever they want from their bullied workers, one thing you may notice is how similar these companies are to Donald Trump, with their thuggish, “pussy-grabbing” sense of entitlement. Money, pussy, whatever — I want it, I take it.

        It seems this arrogance extends to much of our political class, too. We’ve no longer even real people anymore to these sick bastards!

      • Evening Bud says:


        One of the canards of modern America is that we are such a free people, the freest, too many of us actually believe, in the world.

        International groups that monitor democracies around the world consistently rank us 15th or 16th or such among the 30 Tier One democracies. It is our voter suppression, voter ID laws, questionable voting machines, corporate media, etc, that warrant such rankings.

        The second time I went to Amsterdam, my mother-in-law picked us up at the airport, and one of the first things she asked was how did it feel to be back in a free country? I had to suppress a hard laugh.

        In actuality I felt a freedom in Amsterdam I’ve rarely felt here in the U.S. Among the refreshing things there were their non-confrontational police.

        Their evening news was so different that it took me a while, since I don’t understand Dutch, to realize I was watching a news program. (They didn’t bombard the viewers with criminals or crimes, but instead reported on ISSUES and city projects, etc. Totally different mindset.) Here, our press keeps the citizens constantly terrified of their own shadows. Part of the corporate control–keep ’em scared. That illustrates in part how someone like Mussolini–er, Drumpf got to the White House.

        • Julian says:

          Well said, Bud.
          Its hard to stay focused on local and state government marijuana legalization when the federal government has the orange Joker entertaining the mainstream media.
          I keep reposting this link to wake people up that while the corporate media sends us the scare bait of Drumph’s wild, psychotic, self-obsessed accusations that “millions” of illegal immigrants voted illegally only independent news is reporting about the Koch-funded voter caging that won Drumph the election:


    8. mark myers says:

      not going to happen I am terminally ill and will exercise my right to die and I will take everything on my property with me before they can break my door with a battery powered voice activation system I built, when I execute my right, they cant persecute the dead, I own my body they can fuck off we are the terminally will with nothing to lose, don’t mess with us, you never know which of us practice this right, there are more of us than you think.

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        Wow. That’s some front-line shit, right there. Thank you for commenting. I’m sorry about your illness. Respect & solidarity.

    9. saferinneworleans says:

      Prohibitionists should remember that these legalization and taxation experiments are experimental on both sides. We have been served well by the black market for generations. We can go back to it. If the trend is going to be that legalization passes and then the prohibitionists regulate consumers to death, maybe we will reconsider our advocacy. We could as easily spend our time reinforcing and protecting the black market. It is a market we have created ourselves, and it’s good enough.

      • Julian says:

        “The Black Market served us well”?
        The Black Market serves to finance the campaigns of our Congressman who support prohibition, mass incarceration and divisive methods to oppress us.
        Profit from the Black Market purchases our Department of Justice and allows organized crime to infiltrate the agencies sworn to protect us from harm.
        The Black Market empowers violent, unregulated cartels that kill priests and defeat law and order to subdue entire nations of people.
        The Black Market does not even serve those who create it; Theyre souls are traded for profit. Where no land is sacred, churches are converted into money laundering business and the managers of black markets such as Casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson and Patrick Kennedy bare witness to their own families fall victim to the predatory addictions they are designed to profit from within the black markets they maintain through supporting prohibition and the Controlled Substances Act.
        So the informants, the double agents and the cartel leaders from seemingly ordinary citizens to US Congressman all eventually see a coworker, a loved one, a family member or close friend fall victim to the treachorous violence of the unregulated market, to the family chaos of living secret lives. And from these traumatic events a choice is made… smoke a bowl, look within what remains of one’s soul and make the LEAP to legalization… or deny the root cause of one’s self inflicted tragedy and become enslaved to the sin, false idols and false ambitions of a predatory, unregulated market. Marijuana can help make this choice but only ourselves can free our own minds.

    10. phrtao says:

      This is so stupid. You can grow any other plant you like at home and some do have a commercial value – so why not cannabis?
      I suppose they would argue you might pass it on to some one out of state or under age but that could happen if you bought it at a dispensary or obtained it in any other way. I know there are limits on brewing alcohol but that is because you could make a poison that is instantly lethal (as opposed to a properly manufacture alcohol product which will take years to kill you)

      Just more persecution !
      Cannabis people are treated like the Jews in Nazi Germany – oh and now they tax us as well !!

      • Bee says:

        Sometime people make things out to be harder then it really is, i see these new led grower going really deep in the tec. A year ago i snitched from HID to LED and the LED i got was about 60.00 usd i got my seeds and grow this amazing plant. the HID was just to much to deal with paying 150.00 usd a month just to run it. Now i got a full higher priced LED saving money on my electric bill and growing happy healthy plants. Anyway if you would like read my seedbank reviews and try a cheap LED to see if you like it. Happy Growing!!