Urban agriculture run amok: marijuana production in Arcata, California
Pot town pushes back against industrial growers," that Arcata, California is looking to impose a 45% tax on "excess" (3 times normal) use of electricity by households, as a way to reduce how houses are used not as dwellings but as indoor farms.
Above: This Arcata Police Department photo shows the inside of a marijuana grow house in Arcata, Calif.
This reduces the number of residents in neighborhoods (not unlike how second home ownership in globally popular neighborhoods, such as Charleston, ends up creating "ghost towns" devoid of residents much of the year) and has various negative effects.
From the article:
Even Arcata residents who support legalization of marijuana have become fed up with high-volume indoor growing operations that take over much-needed housing and take advantage of the state's loosely written medical marijuana law.
The neighbors of these clandestine pot farms — operated behind curtains, shutters and alarm systems — complain of the skunk-like stink of cannabis, fire hazards, rising rents, vicious guard dogs, caches of guns, illegal pesticides, roadside dumping of unwanted growing gear, and late-night visits from shady characters.
Rather than throw more cops at the problem, the City Council is fighting back in a way befitting this liberal outpost that would rather be known for its pioneering community forest and sewage treatment marsh than marijuana.
Measure I on next week's ballot would impose a 45 percent electricity tax on households — with medical and other exceptions — that use three times the amount of power a typical family home does.
The measure takes aim at commercial growers who maximize production by packing homes full of high intensity lights and irrigation systems that gobble electricity and sometimes cause fires from overloaded circuits. Our hope is to drive the large-scale growing operations out of town," said Shane Brinton, a city councilman and vice mayor who has pushed the novel idea.