Earth Day No Party for Pot Farmers

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Growing marijuana would seem to be a pretty Earth Day-friendly idea. It provides medicinal and recreational benefits, plus hefty tax revenues. However, the state of California isn't feeling the love of Mother Earth for the growers.

The state that kicked off the legalization movement is increasingly banning outdoor growing in different municipalities. While the state legalized the cultivation of medicinal marijuana, many towns wanted to just say no. Live Oak was the first to step up with a ban and the courts supported them. The California Supreme Court decided against reviewing the court decision that allowed the town of Live Oak to ban cultivation for personal use. This decision basically gave other towns the confidence to enact bans.

Sacramento County will celebrate Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22, by holding a hearing on a proposal to ban indoor and outdoor cultivation in unincorporated areas. Just last week, the Martinez city council voted to outlaw growing medicinal marijuana outdoors or within public view. Beaumont, Calif. banned it in February of 2014 and the city of Gridley has banned outdoor cultivation. St. Helena and Selma city councils have both disallowed outdoor gardens.

The city of Moraga will only allow indoor cultivation if it isn't visible. Roseville has a total ban. Fresno County is also trying to ban marijuana growing, but a lawsuit by an individual, Michael Green, cited the California Environmental Quality Act in an attempt to block the ban.

It isn't a surprise that courts believe towns have the right to ban marijuana, even though the state approves it. The precedent was set when alcohol prohibition was repealed. Many towns and even counties opted to remain "dry." According to the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association more than 500 municipalities are dry and nearly one half of Mississippi's counties are dry. Moore County in Tennessee, home to distiller Jack Daniels is dry. So the precedent is set.

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