A new community garden is coming to the town of Castle Rock, Wash. But it won't be for growing tomatoes or corn -- it'll be for marijuana.
Medical marijuana gardens are set to become legal in the Evergreen State beginning July 22. Now people in the Cowlitz County town of Castle Rock are divided over a new garden designated just for that purpose.
"Little old Castle Rock, sometimes it's the little towns that do the weirdest things," resident Sharon Blankenship said.
"I don't know if I'm for it or against it," resident Denise Withers said.
City officials want to ban such gardens altogether. Since the new state law doesn't allow for such a move, they passed an emergency ordinance allowing the gardens to be planted in two business districts along Interstate 5.
Julian Robertson, the owner of Healing Hand of God Medical Marijuana Clinic, was unhappy with the measure, saying it would make marijuana gardens vulnerable to theft.
"We all have state-given rights. The voters all voted for this," Robertson told Washington's KATU News.
"Now we have a city that's trying to say you can't have your rights or 'we're going to be giving you your rights and deciding how this all works,'" he complained.
The new law requires the marijuana garden to abide by strict guidelines:
- The garden can't be visible from anywhere in a public setting.
- It must have a locked fence around it.
- It can have a maximum of 45 plants.
It's estimated that marijuana from the garden will help treat about 10 patients.