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. MSimon says:

      “Non-Licensed Tomato Grows Inspection Team.”

      Makes as much sense.

    2. mexweed says:

      Anonymous 3:24-am is probably right, not to worry if you have a plant or two.
      Another probably safe way to experience growing is not to worry about expensively lighting up to induce flowers, just raise dwarfdown-edited, maybe male plants, as many as you like, clip daily to keep height under a foot, add the leaves to the daily veggie smoothies which I assume you already make with your el cheapo blender which makes cookaholism obsolete.

    3. Mark Mitcham says:

      This is starting to sound somewhat analogous to Prop 19 in California (the legalization effort there that failed after many “marijuana industry” voters voted “no”.)

      Obviously, legal marijuana businesses can only exist as a result of marijuana legalization; but ironically, just by becoming a legal business, and thus being driven by simple profit motive, these businesses now face financial pressure to oppose anything that might interfere with their profits, like — more legal marijuana! Because the more legal it gets, the cheaper it gets, until it sells for pennies on the pound! And at that price, most dispensaries go out of business. And so they oppose further legalization, and in so doing, become, ironically, marijuana prohibitionists!

      That’s the dynamic that turns growers and dispensaries into traitors to Stoner Society.

      Sad to see that happening in Denver! We’re supposed to be marijuana-friendly here; but for some people apparently, money is God.

      “Non-Licensed Marijuana Grow Inspection Team”? WTF? That’s some creepy Orwellian terminology! Somehow I don’t think people are going to be happy to see the “NLMGIT” pulling up in front of their house!

      Probably best to just not register, I’m guessing.

      • Julian says:

        I agree with Mark’s analysis. Spot on. This is going to backlash into people not registering and diminishing revenue from a fairly taxed and regulated market, which legislators will take quick notice of. Citizen lobby and explain that we dont license homebrewing or growing home gardens: No reason to start with marijuana. Worse, this kind of prohibition will strengthen black markets which in turn will target homes in gang warfare, increasing violence. Licensing homegrow is a terrible waste of resources when Drug War III is already going to stretch the limits of state and federal enforcement.

    4. Anonymous2 says:

      I think this might be prohibition trying to sneak it’s way past the legality of home growing. Police can’t search without a warrant, but you have probable cause if someone else “an inspector” leaves a tip. These findings could be used to redefine the modern day stoner and be used as ammunition to fuel the prohibition machine.

      • Julian says:

        …And reinforce asset forfeitures, the primary goal of Sessions as USAG. For too long marijuana possession has been an unjust excuse to break the 4th amendment.

      • Mouth says:

        If more young cannabis supporters simply give up their dreams and goals for a few seasons and join the ranks of cops and soldiers etc, then more cops and soldiers would resist the war on drugs, while gaining converts to our cause and using one’s leverage and job platform to gain trust and respect from the community and their peers. I was a soldier funded by both non-cannabis supporters and cannabis supporters paying their taxes and have used my veteran status as leverage for our cause. But I am not legally capable of becoming a cop and for young cannabis supporters to become cops is the most important way of defeating the drug war. If a cop won’t arrest you for drugs or cannabis, then are you going to be arrested by the cop who won’t arrest you? The answer is no. Why do Marine Snipers dress like the grass and jungles they are hiding in? The movement is ready for us to dilute the system from the inside because I’m a firm believer there are more than just 100,000 cannabis supporters, thus we are capable of diluting the system from the inside. The best way to win in a chess game is to play chess and doctors should not prescribe Viagra for a broken leg or breast cancer.

    5. JJH says:

      I’m from NJ, where you can have 60% of the population embrace legalization; but, our governor knows better——–it’s a gateway drug. Think of the permits you need as a homeowner. Soon, you’ll have to have permits to replace your refrigerator. Colorado is talking 10% increase in tax at the state level. El Chapo is in New York, marijuana wholesale prices are going down, the Feds still have their heads in the ground. Hopefully, the integrity of ones’ home can remain that way. If I’m making wine, or beer at home…….and there aren’t tractor trailers leaving the premises, why do I need a government official in my house for cannabis?

    6. D.j. hexz says:

      They just want another excuse to stop or really restrict the “we the people” I thought we were still living in a free country sort? Where I live they have the right to inspect your apartment without you even being at home. That is in the city I live in and other cities around us have adopted the same policy. The code enforcement/police
      kick-ass squad.

    7. Julian says:

      Explain THIS one to me:

      State and Federal Congress is stuck full of contradictions aren’t they? But so are the voters. As one anonymous post pointed out, the same states that voted in prohibitionist Congressman voted to legalize marijuana, at least medicinally, like North Dakota, Arkansas (and how do we explain Feinstein from California?) This contradiction of voting in prohibitionist Congressman while voting for legalization is how we end up with this backlash from voter initiatives.

      The one that captures my attention is Senator Manchin, D-WV. He recognizes the threat from Price as Sec of Health on rampant opiate addiction in his state, but he supports Sessions for USAG. WTF?

      How does the Republican leaning Democratic Senator from WV, Manchin, get all chummy with a Sessions confirmation on one hand, then oppose the Sec. of Health and Human Services on the other when he stumbles on dealing with the opiate epidemic? Of course West Virginia is dealing with an epidemic of opiate addiction of epic proportions, but how can anyone who knows Sessions well and calls him a “friend” not see the forest from the trees on this issue? Sessions will reverse the Cole memos, day one. States where marijuana is legal see a drop in opiate addiction. Can Manchin be so blind? How the hell do people not get that marijuana legalization, of which Sessions opposes, helps curb our opiate addiction? Or is he counting on the people of West Virginia not knowing any better to save themselves?

      • Julian says:

        Once again, our NORML Board Adviser Bill Maher echoes our thoughts on West Virginia, Republicans who voted for Trump, and the opiate epidemic;


        The good news about opiate addiction reduction in states with marijuana legalization has not yet reached our Republican states that voted for Trump. It all makes sense now:
        North Dakota, Arkansas, Florida; Hurry the fuck up! Start dispensing free marijuana in counties that voted for Trump! We have a heroin and opiate epidemic to stop! And a Democratic Republic to save!

        Maher makes an interesting point about using drugs that “grow from the ground” besides “push and twist.”
        But I know from experience that until we get desperate and need a remedy, and only if we are fortunate enough to try a pure, homegrown, whole plant remedy, do we finally get rid of the stigmas and propaganda we have been consuming unwittingly about marijuana and all types of whole plant treatment.
        I remember a few years back when I was a week into one of the worst stomach infections I ever had. Im adamantly weary of pills but I took antibiotics in desperation, only to end up feeling more consumed with deadly pain. The antibiotics were taking the good bacteria too. My Mexican wife brought me some water with a tincture of “estafiate” or mugwort with drops of an alcohol concentrate. I rolled my eyes and moaned, “Sure, next you’re gonna tell me to put an egg under the bed to ward off the evil eye.” But she ignored my ignorant resistance and I was pretty desperate so I drank it.
        After a week in lethal pain, the mugwort took effect and Four hours later I was CURED.
        It was then that I realized that its gonna be the same way with marijuana. America, we are so saturated with bull$#!+ propaganda that the only way we are going to end this drug war is for everyone to pass a joint, throw the pills away, get high, and detox all the lies, propaganda and Drumph and everyone infected by him.

      • Anonymous says:

        How do they get away with saying marijuana leads to heroin yet we give people opiates when they get a cavity filled.
        We had a heroin epidemic in the early 70’s because we were allied with drug lords in Laos.
        We had a cocaine epidemic in the 80’s because we were allied with drug lords in Central America
        And now we have an prescription opiate epidemic because we were allied with drug lords in Afghanistan.
        Just imagine if Trump/Sessions invade Mexico,, or the Netherlands, or Washington Oregon California Nevada and Colorado… after all, none of those states voted for him. This means WAR.
        Jokes aside,, I fear Sessions will soon unleash federal forces on this, and only this one issue of States Rights.

      • Mark Mitcham says:

        I find that totally mindblowing as well, that any Democrat would even consider confirming Sessions. Well, all I can say, Senator Manchin (D-WV) is now the first name I’m putting on my Democratic Traitor Shitlist!

        From now on, I consider any Democrat who votes to confirm Sessions, no better than Sessions himself: a racist cracker-ass motherfucker. They might as well be Republicans!

        They can all go crawl back up Trump’s asshole, for all I care — at least they’ll feel at home!

    8. Julian says:


      Gotta hand it to DCMJ… I would have said no long ago that this style of protest is outdated in a time when we should be citizen lobbying our Congressman both state and Federal… but handing out free weed to Trump supporters? In DC where people cant buy commercial weed but they can grow their own? Thats exactly what the doctor ordered.

    9. Bobby Tweezirs says:

      I think paying for a permit for home growing is somewhat reasonable but annually I am not so sure about, I get it they want there money but maybe an option to buy multiple year permits at a lower year to year cost would be acceptable. As for inspection if they must do that it should be based on the length of your permit and the level of your grow. Obviously their is some sort of safety standards and pollution policy that must be upheld. The better you meet these requirements than the less another inspection is necessary.So an annual permit will have one inspection granted it meets the requirements, more inspections will be warranted till requirements are met. A 5 year permit will require 1-3 inspections If requirements are met on first inspection and the house hold falls under certain qualification say if you don’t have children living in the home, you would be less likely to see the inspector 3 times in those 5 years if you live far from playgrounds parks and schools you will be less likely to see the inspector more than once if you have met the safety and pollution requirements

    10. Mouth says:

      All young Cannabis Supporters who legally can, need to join the ranks of cops, soldiers, fire, Park Rangers etc and dilute the system from the inside. If 100,000 of us quit our lifestyles and dreams for a decade, we’d have this War on Cannabis done and over with real fast . . . with each boycotting the war on drugs as best they can from inside the machine–acting like a virus. I have and I’m but one person wondering why there are so few cannabis supporters supporting legalization from inside the machine. Being a Veteran, I have a bit of influence and leverage for my community. Imagine if I was still legally eligible to be a cop? I would pretend I didn’t smell anything on black kids or white kids and I wouldn’t search them. Evil Prevails when good people do nothing. I use my Iraq war platform to preach about all the drugs funding the war and how drugs are illegal so U.S. soldiers can have an enemy worth fighting and thus a nation to exploit oil sold to China and repackaged as plastics bought by tax payers and marijuana activists alike. That’s my leverage and my mouth is a bit louder in my community than the stoner who did nothing with his life but protest, vote, go to college, sign a few petitions etc. I love it when people sneeze in my face, making me sick . . . that’s how viruses work, so all young cannabis supporters need to quit their dreams and join the rank of police and soldiers and dismantle the machine as best they can. How hard is it to give up a PhD and scholarship for the greater good?

      • Anonymous says:

        There’s a great show on Amazon called Man in the High castle. In this show Germany won WWII and now occupies the eastern U.S. What’s so striking about the plot is how soon the populous became acclimated to the new regime.
        In the 70’s I used to smoke with a lot of people who swore they would be toking in the old folks home.
        Then Reagan launched Drug War II
        One went to law school, eight years later he was a Prosecutor with the Federal Drug task force specializing in Marijuana eradication.
        There were two high school sweethearts who got married shortly after graduation, I gave them 4 grams of hash as a wedding present to take on their honeymoon, 16 years later they put their straight A daughter in rehab after finding a joint in her room.
        There was a guy I smoked with every day in high school, he now owns a drug testing firm.

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