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Editorial: Will calm prevail on clouded issue?

Published: Sunday, October 10, 2010, 6:54 AM

Jackson Citizen Patriot staff


Considering all the beating of chests about Michigan’s two-year-old medical marijuana law, it’s encouraging to see that local government and police officials are handling this issue responsibly.


Police in some Michigan counties are trying to crack down on marijuana. Attorney general candidate Bill Schuette exaggerates on his website that “pot shops are literally sprouting up everywhere.” An appeals court judge warns state residents to “avoid all use of marijuana if they do not wish to risk violating state law.”




Share 0 Comments You would think the air in our fair state is being filled with toxic smoke. In reality, medical marijuana is making a small change in our state’s landscape.


Fewer than 33,000 state residents have been approved to smoke doctor-prescribed weed. Relatively few businesses have tried to open as marijuana “dispensaries.” And there has been no appreciable impact on crime as this law nears its second anniversary in November.


Truth is, state voters overwhelmingly supported medical marijuana in 2008, but it has not been executed well. The law is vaguely written, with businesses maybe or maybe not being allowed to sell marijuana to patients at retail locations.


Not to minimize the perils of pot — it is an illegal drug for most people — but we do not see why some might worry much about where dispensaries are located. Pharmacies carry much more potent drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin, yet no one cries out if a CVS or Walgreens opens near an elementary school.


Confusion over the medical marijuana law will have to be clarified by the Legislature (which can change the law with a three-fourths vote) or by the courts. Until then, it falls to local government to handle marijuana dispensaries from a zoning perspective, and police to figure out who’s breaking the law.


Summit Township was the first local government to be tested on this issue, and it has passed so far. Officials pushed a just-opened dispensary in Vandercook Lake to close while they review Summit’s zoning rules. Jackson, meanwhile, is working on rules for where medical marijuana may be sold.


It is unfortunate that D & N Strains, the Vandercook Lake business, was affected, but it is hardly an impossible hardship. Potentially, Summit will clear the way for this dispensary to reopen somewhere, as long as it can be a good neighbor, like any business.


In the meantime, let’s clear the air and stop the excess over this issue. Medical marijuana can relieve pain for people who are suffering from various maladies. It takes a doctor’s blessing. It is not opening the door to legalized pot in Michigan, nor is it driving up the crime rate.


Michigan’s residents spoke strongly in favor of this law. We encourage government at all levels to respect that sentiment, work to clear up any confusion and accept medical marijuana as a viable option to relieve pain.


— Jackson Citizen Patriot

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It's refreshing to see some good press about MM, wish there were more who realize the true value of it and more publications would let those comments be seen. Too many are afraid of the truth. I know how scary it is to have a belief challenged, especially one as powerful as the lies about MM which so many accept as truth. People only know what they've been told, though thankfully there are many who choose to think for themselves, ask questions, and not just blindly accept an opinion as fact.



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Thanks Danny, this is another example of WHY it is IMPORTANT to VOTE this November on your 'LOCAL' politicians.


They are the ones that will be making the decisions about MMJ and where it can and cannot be processed and provided to 'patients' in the form of ZONING LAWS.

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