Council Holds Hearings On Noise Ordinance Changes, Medical Cannabis

The panel is expected to vote on the medical cannabis bill Oct. 4th.

Frederick, Md. (KM)  Proposed changes to Frederick County’s  noise ordinance brought out a crowd of people who like motorcycles, ATV’s and off-road vehicles. They felt the amendments to the law are unfair to them. “This law is very, very,very prejudiced against motorcycles and ATV’s. They’re the only party that’s guilty until proven innocent,” says Sam Jones of Braddock Heights, who likes to ride dirt bikes.

Also speaking out against it was Richard Riley, the owner of Fredericktown Yamaha. “This does  pinpoint people that are near and dear to my heart. And that is part of the outside community that have young kids that appreciate involvement with motorized vehicles,” he said.

But Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, who has proposed the changes to the law, said his agency is not going after motorcyclists, ATV’s drivers and other off-road vehicles. “This is not targeting the dirt bike riders, the industry, the sport whatsoever. So I hope the public understands that,” he said.

Changes to the law would make violations of the noise ordinance a civil infraction subject to a fine rather than a criminal offense. It would also set up parameters for determining if the noise is excessive.

A workshop on the bill is expected to be held at a future date.

The Council also took testimony on revised legislation to allow the growing of medical cannabis as an eight-year pilot program in the agricultural district with a special exception. As in the past, a number of farmers testified against it. “I really do not believe that the community wants to see barbed wire and armed guards in agricultural land,” said Audrey Wolf, who lives in Myersville.

Darrell Wolf of Middletown is also opposed. “Medical marijuana is a controlled substance. It’s not an ag product. It cannot be sold in bulk on ag exchanges. Therefore, it is not an ag product. It belongs in an industrial site,” he said.

A number of farmers echoed that comment, saying that medical cannabis growing belongs in the industrial zone.

As to whether the substances in marijuana are toxic, Chad Wilkes called that “ridiculous.” “So as not to be a hypocrite, I would urge you to push toward glycocates  and neo-nictoids not being used in crops in this county because those are actually proven to cause cancer in children,” he said. “Whereas marijuana has only helped  people with epilepsy and other conditions.”

The Council is expected to vote on this bill on Tuesday, October 4th.

By Kevin McManus