Jump to content

Huron County At It Again

Recommended Posts

Huron County has nothing better to do with zoning ordinances then to try and enact this. I'm sure Huron County also is having budget issues like everywhere else so how can they afford a lawsuit?


What a big waste of time and money. I think Zoning Direct Russ Lundberg is one sugar beet short of a bunch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Got pot? Not in Huron County


Proposed ordinance amendments would ban medical marijuana use





Tribune Staff Writer


BAD AXE — Though state law allows licensed individuals to use medical marijuana, that use will not be allowed in any area of the county, per some proposed zoning ordinance amendments Huron County planning commissioners discussed Wednesday.


“From a zoning point of view, it’s not an appropriate use in any district,” said Building and Zoning Director Russ Lundberg.


The proposed revisions do not specifically reference medical marijuana use, but the impetus behind the revisions were made to prohibit medical marijuana use in all districts, Lundberg said.


Per the recommendation of Huron County Corporation Counsel Stephen J. Allen, the revisions state uses allowed are limited to those that conform to local, state and federal laws.


“It has to be a legal use under local, state and federal law,” Lundberg said.


Because medical marijuana is prohibited by federal law, it is not an allowed use, per the zoning ordinance revisions discussed Wednesday.


Lundberg said the wording of the revisions is beneficial in that it not only addresses the goal of prohibiting local medical marijuana uses, but it also prohibits any other local use that may be illegal at the state or federal levels. Also, the wording of the revisions does not single out a particular use, he said.


If the planning commission recommends the revisions and they are approved by the Huron County Board of Commissioners, they would apply to the 14 townships under county zoning, Lundberg said. The remaining 14 townships that are not under county zoning would have to amend their respective ordinances to prohibit medical marijuana use and other uses that do not comply with state and federal law.


Lundberg said he doesn’t believe the ban will be much of an issue, considering the only way the county will know about a medical growing operation/use occurring is if someone advertises it. That is because medical marijuana licenses are administered by the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), and the state does not notify local authorities when people in the local area are given a license.


MDCH Spokesman James Mc-Curtis Jr. told the Tribune Thursday that the list of licensees is confidential. He said Michigan’s medical marijuana law does not address marijuana dispensaries, but it does allow




■ From Page 1A


licensed patients and caregivers to grow a certain amount of marijuana.


“But people have to keep in mind federal law still overrides state law, so it’s a chance,” McCurtis said.


Local ordinances are not something MDCH can weigh in on, because local governments have the right to set an ordinance as long as it complies with state law, he said.


McCurtis said he is not aware of any county that has outlawed medical marijuana use altogether, though some cities have adopted zoning that prohibits it in certain areas.


The Huron County Planning Commission on Wednesday set a public hearing for public input on the proposed revisions for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3 in Room 305 of the County Building.


Officials: Law still hazy


The hazy Michigan Medical Marijuana Act came to be an issue in Huron County last year, following a Sept. 25, 2009 pot bust at a West Huron Avenue home.


What was believed to be one of the department’s largest busts ever turned into a conundrum, as the growers said the home was the site of a legitimate medical marijuana growing operation — not an illegal drug house.


While Jeffrey Ellis, one of the two caregivers growing marijuanainthehome,claimed the operation was fully within the scope of Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Act, Bad Axe police believed there were clear law violations.


“Violations of even the medical marijuana law. If the operation was a legitimate medical marijuana operation, these violations (found at the home during the raid) would make (the growers’) claim null and void. At this point, our department is only part way through its investigation,” said Michael H. Anderson, then-Bad Axe Police Chief, in October 2009.


There were some questions raised in the case that fell under some gray areas in the law, McCurtis previously told the Tribune.


Particularly, the law doesn’t address at what stage a pot plant is considered “useable marijuana,” he said. Also, the law doesn’t address dispensaries or whether two or more patients or caregivers are allowed to form a growing cooperative.


On Thursday, McCurtis told the Tribune that many gray areas still exist in the law. He said there has not been any clarification in the law provided from the Legislature, nor has there been any guidance given from Michigan courts.


Lundberg said the county didn’t want to get involved in creating a zoning provision that allows for and monitors medical marijuana use because the law has so many gray areas.


“How do we enforce a law that isn’t clearly defined at the state level? ... The bottom line is we felt the easiest response is to not allow medical marijuana facilities under county zoning,” he said.


If someone does uses or manufactures medical marijuana, and advertises the use in some manner, it will be a zoning violation and the sheriff’s office will be called for enforcement purposes, Lundberg said.


He noted he doesn’t anticipate it will be much of an issue, since it’s unlikely anyone will advertise this particular use.


“No one knew there was a medical marijuana manufacturing facility until there were reports of a marijuana growing establishment in a Bad Axe neighborhood,” Lundberg said in reference to the Sept. 25, 2009 bust. “And then it was treated as a (illegal drug) violation because the police didn’t know it was medical marijuana involved.” The investigation into that case was open for quite some time, and it eventually was forwarded to the Huron County Prosecutor’s Office in late summer. So far, no charges have been filed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...