Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Uncategorized Ask the Bud Man: The fight in Fresno

Ask the Bud Man: The fight in Fresno


By Ngaio Bealum

I hear the activists in Fresno are fighting against the indoor and outdoor cultivation bans. What are their plans?

Ray Zen

You are correct. The medical marijuana community in Fresno, led by the Fresno Cannabis Association (, is attacking the ban on two fronts.

48hillsngaioThe first one:  The group is suing to overturn the ban because the city of Fresno did not file an Environmental Impact Report before implementing the ban.  They kind of have a point, but I am not sure how successful this lawsuit will be. But maybe they can get a preliminary injunction and tie this thing up in court for a few years while the lawyers hammer out a deal.

A second, and more interesting, lawsuit has been filed against the City of Fresno by the American Civil Liberties Union. You heard me: the frikkin’ ACLU!  These guys are the big guns. The ACLU’s argument is that these total bans on growing medical cannabis go against California state law. Prop. 215 and SB420 allow qualified patients to grow their own marijuana without fear of criminal penalties.

And since the Fresno ban contains criminal penalties for people that continue to grow medical cannabis, Fresno is in direct violation of state law. I think the ACLU  has a good case.

The problem I have with Fresno and all the other cities and counties trying to ban medical marijuana growing is: It doesn’t work. Prohibition never works.  I know I say this in just about every other column, but it’s still true. This is America. We do what we want. It is smarter to have reasonable regulations than to attempt the impossible.

Keeping people from growing a plant that helps them stay healthy is more than a sisyphean task; it can’t be done.  Fresno has already banned medical marijuana collectives, and with a ban on growing, how are patients going to get good medicine?  Drive to Sacramento?  Go to LA?  Move to Stockton? Hah! Say hello to your friendly neighborhood underground pot dealer.

All that being said, this is going to take a lot of time, effort, and money. The FCA is throwing a fundraiser on June 8th at Full Circle Brewery in Downtown Fresno. There will be music, comedy (I will be there), a raffle, and much entertainment. If you can’t make it to the fundraiser, please make a donation. If the FCA and the ACLU can win their lawsuits, other activists can use those results to overturn bans in their respective cities and counties. We are all in this together.

Correction: In my last column about cannabis-infused edibles, I mistakenly stated that Tainted brand edibles were made in a home kitchen. I have been informed by Mickey Martin that Tainted edibles are made in an awesome 9,000-square-foot commercial kitchen. My bad.

Send questions to the bud man at

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.


  1. Posted here a couple of times. The reality is that something is probably gonna pass in ’16, the choice is likely to be between CCHI and MCLRA. CCHI may not be perfect but MCLRA is an atrocity. One major problem is that many ‘famous’ long time activists and groups seem to have a vested interest in MCLRA and have been supportive of it. Not ready to say yet that they have literally ‘sold’ out, not while there’s still time for us to shame them into doing the right thing.

  2. Hey paymonk. Did you post your comment on here or did you email me? If you are asking about CCHI 2016, I personally like the idea, but I don’t think it really has a chance at succeeding. I will support it when it comes around again, though. If you have other questions, get at me.


  3. I have ‘asked the budman’ a question a few times but received no response or acknowledgement, I think he must be down to stems ‘n seeds.
    Patrick Monk. RN Hospice Case Manager. SF.Ca.
    *Society of Cannabis Clinicians.
    *American Cannabis Nurses Association.
    **For Identification Only.

  4. the reality of Fresno’s ban is, they do not go after the personal use growing, it is the commercial grow operations that needed a stronger law to prosecute under. This is the problem with MMC grow operations, some people take it too far and ruin it for all. Same as everywhere in Ca. now. I prefer and continue to go to “black market” dealers as opposed to the corporate model “pot shops” for profit who fly under the guise of “helping” people. I was with Brownie Mary and Peron in the beginning, the movement is far from it’s original intention, but that’s progress. As MMC advocate persecute Monsanto (rightly so) for patenting food, MMC growers have been trying for years to patent specific strains of MMC for personal gain. Hello Mr. Rosenthal. This has become a crusade for profit by a new aristocracy created by the new pot industry. Too bad, helping people has always been a good thing, until human nature turns it toward profit.

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