Medford grower fighting city’s medical marijuana restrictions

Medford, Ore. — A medical marijuana grower is being fined $250 every day for having more plants than the city of Medford allows. The limitation on outdoor marijuana grows was put in place last November, restricting both medical and recreational growers to 4 plants at any time. This November, those restrictions may get tighter, an ordinance on the ballot could ban outdoor grows altogether but tonight, one patient is fighting to change that.

“We’ll take it all the way to court if we have to,” Jason Osborne says.

Osborne and his wife are medical marijuana card holders. She suffers from blood clots, he suffers from a degenerative joint disorder that will likely require him to have knee replacement surgery before he’s 50.

“We don’t want to use narcotics,” Osborne says, “we’ve found a better way.”

Under state law, medical marijuana growers can have 6 plants per patient and up to 12 a household, but a Medford city ordinance caps that at 4. It’s enforced when neighbors or residents file a complaint with code enforcement and Medford police.

“We give people time to come into compliance with the code,” Corporal Trevor Arnold of MPD says, “and then if they fail to met that within the date that we agree upon then they start being issued citations for violation of the municipal code.”

“Every time [code enforcement] comes out here it’s a $250 citation,” Osborne says.

Osborne feels the city’s ordinance has no legal merit because of state law.

“They were never given the right to make an ordinance that precluded or prohibited the growing of medical cannabis.”

So he hopes the council will reconsider it’s current restrictions.

“At this point I’m not even fighting for myself,” Osborne adds.

That’s because the property he’s on is being sold, and he now has 60 days to find elsewhere to live. And if the ordinance to ban grows passes in November, he says he’ll have to leave Medford.

“I can not live where I can not grow the medicine that I need for myself, my wife, and the patient that I grow for.”

But he says he will continue to push for change.

“This fight is important because it’s not just about one person it’s about the people that are going to be here after I’m gone.”

Osborne will be speaking at next Thursday’s city council meeting, to encourage them to nix the current ordinance limiting grows. He will continue that push, especially if the ban on grows fails in November. If not it would take legal action to reverse it which Osborne is prepared to do.

He says he has no plans to pay his current citations.


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