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Aclu Ready To Challenge Local Marijuana Ordinances


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I'm not a caregiver, but it's all about sharing the info,right?

 

 

Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle (MI)

 

ACLU ready to challenge local marijuana ordinances

 

MARY BETH ALMOND C & G Staff Writer

 

Published: August 11, 2010

 

BIRMINGHAM/BLOOMFIELD HILLS - The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan is asking city officials in Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills to clarify or rescind ordinances recently passed regarding the growth, sale and dispensing of medical marijuana in their cities. Although growing and selling marijuana for medical purposes in Michigan is now legal, it is still against federal law, which has become a headache for local municipalities wrestling with how to control local dispensaries. The Michigan Department of Community Health adopted rules to implement the act in April 2009, but there is still a great deal of uncertainty among municipalities as to how to best to regulate the dispensing of medical marijuana in their areas.

 

At the end of April, Birmingham officials passed an ordinance that prohibits the growth, sale and dispensing of medical marijuana within the city. The ordinance, which was unanimously supported by the City Commission and backed by both the city's Police Depart- ment and Community Development Department, states that it is "unlawful for any person or business to engage in any activity, conduct, use or venture in the city that is contrary to federal, state, or local laws or ordinances." City officials said the ordinance basically states the city will follow federal guidelines in all cases where there is a conflict between state and federal law.

 

Nearly a month after Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills decided to follow suit when officials voted to ban the growth and dispensing of medical marijuana within the city during a special meeting May 24. Speaking on behalf of City Attorney Bill Hampton, attorney Derk Beckerleg recommended the city prohibit the dispensing of medical marijuana altogether because he said that even though the state law permits dispensing and use of medical marijuana, it's still a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law.

 

On July 29, the ACLU sent letters to both cities challenging the ordinances, which the ACLU claims violate the rights of medical marijuana users.

 

"Patients shouldn't be forced to give up their rights under state law just because they live in Bloomfield Hills or Birmingham," Dan Korobkin, staff attorney with the ACLU of Michigan, said in a statement.

 

Under the medical marijuana law, patients must obtain a card through the state to use medical marijuana, and they can either grow their own marijuana or get it from an approved caregiver. Caregivers can provide medical marijuana to up to five patients each and can open up shop in communities with proper zoning. Patients have the right to use medical marijuana based upon a doctor's recommendation, under the act.

 

Although the two ordinances make no specific mention of medical marijuana, the ACLU argues that it is clear from meeting minutes that they were enacted to criminalize medical marijuana, which is still illegal under federal law.

 

In the letters, the ACLU notes that the U.S. Justice Department announced it would not prosecute Michigan patients and caregivers who comply with the state's medical marijuana laws.

 

By enacting a complete ban on all medical marijuana, the ACLU claims Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills are "flouting state law and ignoring federal drug policy." Korobkin said 63 percent of voters statewide - 70 percent of voters in Birmingham and 62 percent of voters in Bloomfield Hills - approved the Michigan Marijuana Act in 2008.

 

"This is a democracy, and the people have spoken," Korobkin said. "City commissioners do not have a veto power over state laws they happen to disagree with." Hampton received the letter, which he said was likely written by "a first-year lawyer who doesn't understand land use law" on Aug. 2. "Anytime a lawyer sends a press release to the media before the recipient of that letter - which in this case was me - even received a copy of it, it's just what I would refer to as an ambush tactic.

 

Even though I could probably not even respond to the letter, because it's so ridiculous, I probably will respond because I think it's the polite thing to do," he said.

 

Hampton said the ordinance adopted by the city in May was a regulatory ordinance and noted that Bloomfield Hills has yet to adopt a medical marijuana ordinance that relates to land use, which is something that he said the ACLU either totally ignored or did not know. The city will hold a public hearing on the proposed medical marijuana zoning ordinance at the Planning Commission meeting Aug. 10.

 

"We're not saying someone can't use it in their home if they are licensed by the state, but we don't want people cultivating it and selling it in the city," he said.

 

Hampton said the medical marijuana law has numerous flaws in it because it was adopted by an initiative process, rather than a legislative process.

 

"As a result, it's probably going to result in years and years of litigation because there are so many unanswered questions that all kinds of municipalities in the whole state of Michigan are wrestling with currently," he said.

 

Birmingham City Attorney Tim Currier could not be reached for comment at press time.

 

For more information about the medical marijuana program, visit www.michigan.gov/mmp or call (517) 373-0395.

 

You can reach Staff Writer Mary Beth Almond at mal mond@candgnews.com or at (586) 498-1060.

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At the end of April, Birmingham officials passed an ordinance that prohibits the growth, sale and dispensing of medical marijuana within the city. The ordinance, which was unanimously supported by the City Commission and backed by both the city's Police Depart- ment and Community Development Department, states that it is "unlawful for any person or business to engage in any activity, conduct, use or venture in the city that is contrary to federal, state, or local laws or ordinances." City officials said the ordinance basically states the city will follow federal guidelines in all cases where there is a conflict between state and federal law.

 

****

 

"unlawful for any person or business to engage in any activity, conduct, use or venture in the city that is contrary to federal, state, or local laws or ordinances." City officials said the ordinance basically states the city will follow federal guidelines in all cases where there is a conflict between state and federal law."

 

Oh, yeah?!

 

Well ...

 

MURDER is "contrary to federal, state, or local laws or ordinances"; But, that doesn't (EVER) stop the governments of the FEE WORLD from brainwashing, stealing and sending the children of the world away from home, family and community, to fight and die for their politcal wars for corporate profits.

 

Hypocrites!

 

When will any single one of the world's politicians and "City Officials" stand up for the natural-born rights of human beings?

 

Hey, Mr. (and Ms.) Big Shot Professional Council Member , Law-Maker, Officer of The Law ....

 

When are any ONE of you Hypocrites going to ban WAR on Humanity?

 

Be Informed.

 

Be FREE!

 

(From Hypocrites!)

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Hampton received the letter, which he said was likely written by "a first-year lawyer who doesn't understand land use law" on Aug. 2. "Anytime a lawyer sends a press release to the media before the recipient of that letter - which in this case was me - even received a copy of it, it's just what I would refer to as an ambush tactic.

 

Even though I could probably not even respond to the letter, because it's so ridiculous, I probably will respond because I think it's the polite thing to do," he said."

 

So ... THIS is the kind of childish mind that is accepted into "Public Office" to "represent" who, exactly?!

 

And, then gets hired by ..... WHO, again???!

 

Certainly not "WE The PEOPLE" that's FOR SURE!

 

"Speaking on behalf of City Attorney Bill Hampton, attorney Derk Beckerleg recommended the city prohibit the dispensing of medical marijuana altogether because he said that even though the state law permits dispensing and use of medical marijuana, it's still a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law.

 

 

Hey, Mr. Hampton / Beckerleg ...

 

Here's something for you two MAlfeasants (or it Misfeasants) to read that you clearly overlooked; Or, is it - more likely - the two of you just don't care about The People as much as your RULE and Pay:

 

" As a public citizen, a lawyer should seek improvement of the law,

the administration of justice and the quality of service rendered by the legal profession. As a member of a learned profession, a lawyer should cultivate knowledge of the law beyond its use for clients, employ that knowledge in reform of the law and work to strengthen legal education.

 

A lawyer should be mindful of deficiencies in the administration

of justice and of the fact that the poor, and sometimes persons who are

not poor, cannot afford adequate legal assistance, and should therefore

devote professional time and civic influence in their behalf. A lawyer

should aid the legal profession in pursuing these objectives and should

help the bar regulate itself in the public interest.

 

 

http://www.michbar.org/generalinfo/pdfs/mrpc.pdf

 

Of course, all ethics considered, The two of you might want to begin your lessons with the "Preamble"; Apparently you missed it.

 

It begins on page 35.

 

Remember, it's supposed to be "We The Community of Individuals" that you are employed by - why, oh why, one shudders to think.

 

FREE The CURE!

 

And, SHARE The COMPASSION

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