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Pontiac Cops Leery Of Silverdome Pot Convention

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Pontiac Cops Leery of Silverdome Pot Convention


Event promoters are high on the recently reopened Pontiac Silverdome again — maybe a little too much so, the city’s top cop says.

A three-day “pot party” planned at the Silverdome over Halloween has caught the police chief and others by surprise.

A postcard-sized announcement for “The First International Cannabis Convention” — featuring a giant marijuana plant bursting through the Silverdome roof — began showing up in local businesses this past week. The ad also includes a smiling jack-o-lantern smoking what appears to be a reefer.

“We just learned of this two days ago,” said Pontiac Police Chief Val Gross. “Does it cause some concerns? You bet it does.

“You would think we would have at least been consulted first.”

City approval of events at the formerly city-owned Silverdome is not required, said Gross, who also noted the City Council recently passed a moratorium on medical marijuana initiatives or businesses operating within the city.

“It ( the convention ) raises a wide variety of questions about what is not only inappropriate but illegal,” Gross said. “One thing is certain — marijuana is not legal in Pontiac. Any marijuana-smoking paraphernalia is not legal in Pontiac. And I believe, considering the new cigarette smoking laws in Michigan, smoking anything even in a privately owned building like the Silverdome is also illegal.

“The question is: … how are you going to enforce this?”

Seminars and Exhibits

The convention is planned for Oct. 29-31 and will feature entertainers, exhibits, vendors, guest speakers, “friendly vaporization tents” and edibles for qualifying patients with current medical marijuana cards. It will include seminars and symposiums on subjects ranging from cultivation to legal issues to business opportunities, according to the announcement.

Michigan’s medical marijuana law was approved in November 2008. The full law went into effect in April 2009, and patients began applying to the state department of health for ID cards to allow them to use marijuana legally under a doctor’s care.

The legislation has spawned numerous marijuana-related businesses across Michigan.

Silverdome spokesman John Mozena said the event is essentially a “medical marijuana trade show.”

“We aren’t sponsoring or endorsing the show,” he said. “This is just a straight rental deal like any other. It will be the responsibility of everyone here to make sure that the laws of the city and the state are abided by — just like at any other event at the Silverdome or somewhere else.”

The long-shuttered Silverdome has begun hosting events again after it was bought by a Canadian company in 2009.

‘Proper ID’ Required

One sponsor of the cannabis convention, Edmund Kresty, CEO of Holistic Health and Educational Center in Saline, said, “This isn’t a bunch of pot-smoking hippies getting together, but there might be some, along with people from all walks of life.

“Earlier this year, one of these in San Francisco drew more than 25,000 people, and there wasn’t one incident, injury or arrest,” said Kresty. “We aren’t selling, distributing or trading marijuana.

“This is an opportunity for people to learn the law, discuss issues and see the latest in equipment. Some equipment can be used by people who bring their own medicine, but these will be carefully guarded areas, and people will have to show the proper ID cards to use them.”

Organizers plant to sit down with city officials and police in the near future to discuss all concerns, he said.

Attendees must be at least 18 years old, unless accompanied by their parents, he said.

“We hope to draw 50,000 people over the three days,” he said. “We think it will also be big revenue generator for area hotels, restaurants and other businesses.”

Source: Detroit News (MI)
Copyright: 2010 The Detroit News
Contact: http://detnews.com/article/99999999/INFO/71011004
Website: http://detnews.com/
Author: Mike Martindale, The Detroit News



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