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Gibraltar: City Adopts Ordinances On Medical Marijuana, Film Industry


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GIBRALTAR: CITY ADOPTS ORDINANCES ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA, FILM INDUSTRY

 

 

By Kevin Bunch

 

 

 

GIBRALTAR - City officials debated the need and extent of ordinances regulating the film and medical marijuana industries recently.

 

Both ordinances were adopted by the City Council.

 

The medical marijuana, or "Prohibited Business Activity," ordinance, received its first reading after Police Chief Raymond Canterbury proposed guidelines to keep large medical marijuana growing and selling operations out of the city.

 

Medical marijuana, legalized in Michigan after a public referendum, still is illegal under federal law. Mayor James Gorris said that in discussions with other Downriver communities, no one particularly liked how the new Michigan law had been written.

 

He said he expected that a challenge to it would lead to a court ruling clarifying the matter on a state level and possibly even a federal ruling. Gorris wanted the city to be covered until then.

 

"This is for us the most-appropriate law in our city at this time," he said. "It lets us wait until the dust settles on the law."

 

Cassandra Booms of the city attorney's office pointed out that the ordinance would not affect caregivers.

 

Councilman Scott Ross, who opposed the measure, said that a majority of Michigan residents voted in 2008 to legalize medical marijuana and that the city should be careful on how it deals with related business in the community.

 

Councilman Jesus Garza also offered business concerns, both with the marijuana ordinance and a film industry ordinance proposal.

 

"By creating more barriers, we are making it harder to draw in business," he said.

 

The film ordinance, proposed by City Administrator Mark Kibby, would cover requirements for the film industry to do business in Gibraltar. Kibby said that it is very similar to an ordinance in Trenton, with some additions from one in Riverview.

 

Garza had concerns that the permit fee that companies would have to pay to film in the city might become a deterrent. Kibby said that it didn't seem to be one in other communities.

 

Gorris said that an ordinance would allow the city to block certain types of activities, such as filming a high-speed chase in a canal, but Garza said there already is an ordinance in place for that.

 

Councilwoman Kathleen LaPointe said that the ordinance would serve as protection in case the film company did something without informing the city. She added that other businesses have to have permits to operate in the city.

 

The "Prohibited Business Activity" ordinance was adopted, 5-2, with Garza and Ross voting no. Garza was the sole holdout against a proposed film ordinance

 

For the rest of the story with updates please go to

 

http://thenewsherald.com/articles/2010/12/15/news/doc4d07f01f02623671845184.txt

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