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Traverse City Should Have Patched Medical Marijuana Law Earlier


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http://record-eagle.com/opinion/x96559973/TC-should-have-patched-medical-marijuana-law-earlier

 

It's encouraging that Traverse City planners apparently are willing to plug holes in and make changes to the city's rather sketchy medical marijuana ordinance.

 

But city residents should be concerned that an ordinance approved just a few months ago already needs major tweaking — the kind of tweaking that should have been done before the new law ever made it to the city commission.

 

Further, the city should consider itself lucky it has time to make needed changes — including deciding where so-called "collectives" can be established — before it was too late.

 

The city is considering a change that would require medical marijuana collectives, where certified patients can go to purchase marijuana from certified growers, to be located at least 500 feet apart.

 

 

The ordinance, which was adopted in August, permits collectives in most commercial districts of the city. Marijuana can change hands at such locations, but can't be grown there.

 

City Planner Russ Soyring said the spacing rule is intended to make sure the city doesn't end up with a cluster of collectives.

 

There are at least three now — one on Garfield Avenue near Centre Street, another on State Street downtown and one based at the Crema coffee shop on Front Street — and officials expect at least three more in the coming months.

 

If the city had waited until any of the ones yet to come had already leased space, it may have been hard to enforce the 500-foot rule.

 

Such spacing requirements are hardly new to the people who write ordinances, particularly zoning laws. And they should have been part of the medical-marijuana ordinance before the fact.

 

The city will also require that potential collective operators provide the owner's name at least 10 business days before the operation is set to open. That's Permits 101 stuff; people who run everything from day cares to bars have to let the city know who is whom; marijuana collectives can't be any different.

 

The city stumbled on that one when they realized that a man who filed to open Collective Inc., the State Street operation, recently had been convicted in a felony drug case, a clear violation of the law. That man, Damon Granger, sold the collective to three downstate residents — including his fiancee — about the same time it opened.

 

The ordinance has also come under fire because it allows certified caregivers, those who can grow and sell marijuana to certified patients, to grow as many as 72 plants in a home zoned for single-family — not commercial — use.

 

We've said it before — passage of the medical-marijuana ballot initiative was an act of compassion for those suffering diseases they didn't ask for. That doesn't mean, however, that the state and local governments don't have the right and the obligation to regulate the cultivation and distribution of what still is, after all, an illegal drug for the rest of us.

 

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City of Traverse City Planning Commission Meeting 12/8/10: http://www.upnorthmedia.org/watchgovtv.asp?SDBFid=2590#vid - If you go a little over half way through the meeting video to 1:26:35, you'll find the medical marihuana discussions.

 

 

City of Traverse City Planning Commission Meeting 12/15/10: http://www.upnorthmedia.org/watchgovtv.asp?SDBFid=2593#vid - If you go to 00:03:25, you'll find the medical marihuana discussions.

Edited by Eric L. VanDussen
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http://record-eagle.com/opinion/x96559973/TC-should-have-patched-medical-marijuana-law-earlier

 

It's encouraging that Traverse City planners apparently are willing to plug holes in and make changes to the city's rather sketchy medical marijuana ordinance.

 

But city residents should be concerned that an ordinance approved just a few months ago already needs major tweaking — the kind of tweaking that should have been done before the new law ever made it to the city commission.

 

Further, the city should consider itself lucky it has time to make needed changes — including deciding where so-called "collectives" can be established — before it was too late.

 

The city is considering a change that would require medical marijuana collectives, where certified patients can go to purchase marijuana from certified growers, to be located at least 500 feet apart.

 

 

The ordinance, which was adopted in August, permits collectives in most commercial districts of the city. Marijuana can change hands at such locations, but can't be grown there.

 

City Planner Russ Soyring said the spacing rule is intended to make sure the city doesn't end up with a cluster of collectives.

 

There are at least three now — one on Garfield Avenue near Centre Street, another on State Street downtown and one based at the Crema coffee shop on Front Street — and officials expect at least three more in the coming months.

 

If the city had waited until any of the ones yet to come had already leased space, it may have been hard to enforce the 500-foot rule.

 

Such spacing requirements are hardly new to the people who write ordinances, particularly zoning laws. And they should have been part of the medical-marijuana ordinance before the fact.

 

The city will also require that potential collective operators provide the owner's name at least 10 business days before the operation is set to open. That's Permits 101 stuff; people who run everything from day cares to bars have to let the city know who is whom; marijuana collectives can't be any different.

 

The city stumbled on that one when they realized that a man who filed to open Collective Inc., the State Street operation, recently had been convicted in a felony drug case, a clear violation of the law. That man, Damon Granger, sold the collective to three downstate residents — including his fiancee — about the same time it opened.

 

The ordinance has also come under fire because it allows certified caregivers, those who can grow and sell marijuana to certified patients, to grow as many as 72 plants in a home zoned for single-family — not commercial — use.

 

We've said it before — passage of the medical-marijuana ballot initiative was an act of compassion for those suffering diseases they didn't ask for. That doesn't mean, however, that the state and local governments don't have the right and the obligation to regulate the cultivation and distribution of what still is, after all, an illegal drug for the rest of us.

 

Mod Copy & Pasted PostVicodin.oxys ,ect. are illegal drugs to some also..and thye seem to get into alot of illegal people..You dont see thme banning pharmacies..

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