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West Sacramento Bans Outdoor Medical Marijuana Grows After Complaints

WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A spike in marijuana-related complaints last year has prompted West Sacramento to ban outdoor medical pot grows.

West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon says the city had twice as many marijuana-related complaints filed in 2013 than in 2012.

"Having marijuana grown outdoors sort of creates a magnet for crime and for folks to jump the fence for other reasons," he said.

Break-ins and thefts are on the rise, and the smell of marijuana wafting in the air along Hobson Avenue has become inescapable.

"Oh yeah, you'll think a skunk is around, but it's not a skunk," said neighbor Clifford King.

The mayor says this move is a reasonable approach to ensure kids are kept away from marijuana and to help reduce crime.

"Doesn't mean you have to grow in the house," he said. "It has to be an enclosed structure. So depending on the size and acreage of your parcel you may still be able to grow in an outdoor greenhouse or shed."

One neighbor we spoke with is worried the new ordinance will actually increase break-ins.

"If people want to steal it, they come in," Anthony said. "They have to break into your house. They are going to have guns and stuff. It's just not cool."

Growing indoors can also be much more expensive as users will need to use more electricity. Advocates claim the new rules will hinder their rights and say they should have the option to cultivate in their backyards.

Similar laws are already in place in Sacramento, Elk Grove and Roseville.

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