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Manchester Village Undecided On Mmj.


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US MI: Manchester: Village Planning Commission Remains Undecided on Medical Mar

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URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v11/n109/a01.html

Newshawk: Richard Lake

Votes: 0

Pubdate: Fri, 18 Feb 2011

Source: Manchester Enterprise (MI)

Copyright: 2011 Heritage Newspapers, a Journal Register Property

Contact:male2('editor','manchesterenterprise.com'); editor@manchesterenterprise.com

Website: http://www.heritage.com/manchester_enterprise/

Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/5239



The Manchester Village Planning Commission is still hazy on the best way to regulate medical marijuana in the village.


The Commission held discussions at its Feb. 15 meeting, comparing different models for enforcement, primarily models from Dexter and from Manchester Township.


The commission seemed to lean closer to considering the Dexter model, which would define a dispensary and not permit retail sales, consumption or cultivation of medical marijuana. It also would outlaw dispensaries opening up with 500 feet of a school or another dispensary. Manchester Township's model would restrict dispensaries within 1,000 feet of a school or child care center.


Dexter held a public hearing Feb. 16 on the civil penalties for violating the proposed ordinance. No vote has been scheduled in Dexter.


The Manchester Village Planning Commission debated on the number of feet a dispensary would have to be from a school, with some saying if the band was 1,000 feet, it would not allow for any dispensaries in the village.


"If we have a 1000-foot radius from our schools, it may wipe out ( the entire village for consideration )," said Planning Commission member Ronald Milkey.


The commission seemed unsure which requirement, 500 or 1,000 feet, would meet federal drug-free school zones.


Village manager Jeff Wallace said he was unsure about the drug limit, but thought they would be similar to federal guidelines that mandate sex offenders stay at least 500 feet from schools.


He said the commission needed to be careful when selecting a distance.


"You don't want to say it's 1,000 if it's only 500," he said. "Downtown west though, would pretty much be open game."


Michigan voters approved the use of medical marijuana in 2008. Since then, several communities around the state have debated how to regulate it. Manchester approved a six-month moratorium last fall, which will end this spring.


Wallace said he has received inquiries from dispensaries looking to set up shop in the village.


"They said they found an area outside Dexter that would do the same thing, and did it there," he said. "They were looking for larger barn sites where they could grow inside it."


The commission also wanted clarification over what defines a dispensary and a place where marijuana is grown.


Wallace advised them to tailor the language to be as detailed as possible.


"When you look at an ordinance, you want it to be specific on what you want it to be," Wallace said, "not necessarily what their understanding of it is."


Although the commission seemingly leaned toward one model, commissioner Louis Way said he'd like to take as close a look as possible to avoid litigation in the future.


"The thing is, you've got a law that's been voted in, and we're going to have to deal with the legalities of it," Way said. "You don't want to do something where we'll save a dollar here, only to get sued later."

MAP posted-by: Richard Lake



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