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Medical Pot Wars A-Bubble in California

LAKEPORT, Calif. (CN) - A Northern California county last week barred medical marijuana cultivation in apartment complexes and mobile home parks - "unless park management sets up a designated garden area" for it.

The Lake County Planning Commission unanimously approved the zoning change.

"The commissioners amended the section on mobile home park grows to prohibit outdoor cultivation unless park management sets up a designated garden area that allows for medical marijuana cultivation," the Lake County Record-Bee reported. "Outdoor cultivation in mobile home parks would also be exempt for spaces with more than 4,500 square feet," Kevin Hume reported for the Record-Bee.

Lake County is just north of Sonoma County, which recently decided not to reduce from 30 to 6 the number of plants medical marijuana patients may own there. Both counties are within an hour's drive of the Bay Area.

Lake County commissioners amended the county zoning ordinance to ban marijuana cultivation in multifamily dwellings larger than a duplex.

The new zoning rule allows processing of harvested medical marijuana, but restricts it to the number of plants allowed by an interim medical marijuana ordinance already on the books.

Members of the Lake County Planning Commission were not available for comment.

Medical marijuana has been a contentious legal issue in California and other states. Though some states allow it - often because of citizen-sponsored ballot initiatives - the federal government and some cities and counties and their police agencies have cracked down on it anyway.

President Obama announced last week that prosecuting marijuana users in states that have legalized it would not be a top priority for his Justice Department.

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