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Holland Township Planners Take A Fresh Start On Medical Marijuana Ordinance

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Holland Township planners take a fresh start on medical marijuana ordinance

Published: Tuesday, January 04, 2011, 10:16 PM Updated: Tuesday, January 04, 2011, 10:19 PM

By Myron Kukla | The Grand Rapids Press





HOLLAND TOWNSHIP — After working for four months on a medical marijuana ordinance, township planners on Tuesday scrubbed it and called for a fresh start, focusing on how the state law will be regulated and implemented locally.

“We want to make sure the growing and distribution is conducted in a manner which is safe and does not present a threat to neighbors or the community,” Zoning and Planning Administrator Jon Mersman said.

“The draft ordinance was full of references to compliance to the act and other jargon. That will stay in the preamble, but the ordinance, when written, will be our rules for compliance,” Mersman said.
He said the township’s biggest worry is that distribution points for medical marijuana eventually could become problem areas for law enforcement.

“So we know that a transfer facility has to be registered, with only patients and patient caregivers being there,” Mersman said.

The other problem is creating an ordinance that requires safety inspections of indoor growing locations, which require considerable electrical power and watering requirements.

“That’s a dangerous combination for people living in close proximity,” Mersman said.

Planning Commissioner LaVerne Johnson, who has been a commissioner for 43 years, helping create rules for all kinds of township development, never thought he’d have to deal with marijuana distribution rules.

“I was raised on a celery farm and the only thing we had back then was some hard cider we snuck once in a while from my father’s jug in the barn,” Johnson said.

Johnson himself doesn’t have a problem with the state law allowing the growing and use of medical marijuana.

“If it helps people who are sick, I’m all for it,” Johnson said.

“But, if it’s done here, we want to make sure it’s done right,” he said.

E-mail the author of this story: localnews@grpress.com



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Again registration is against the law. Anything forcing patient information to be taken is against the law. Both the mmma and hippa laws. When are these people going to realize you can not force a patient to register. What's next gold stars for us wear on our lapels?

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