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Medical Marijuana Advocate Warns Kalamazoo


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http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2011/03/medical_marijuana_advocate_war.html

 

Medical marijuana advocate warns Kalamazoo Township Board that new ordinance could face legal challenge

Published: Tuesday, March 01, 2011, 8:42 AM Updated: Tuesday, March 01, 2011, 8:51 AM

David T. Young | Special to the Kalamazoo Gazette By David T. Young | Special to the Kalamazoo Gazette

 

KALAMAZOO TOWNSHIP — It was just the first reading for a proposed local medical marijuana ordinance Monday night, but the Kalamazoo Township Board of Trustees was warned it may face legal problems in the near future.

 

Joe Cain, chief executive officer of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, told board members, “This ordinance is so far out it’s going to get attention.”

 

Noting the township, like so many other local municipalities, is grappling with financial problems, he added, “You pass this medical marijuana ordinance and you’re going to need more money... It’s going to happen. The question is, do you want to be part of the legal process?”

 

Cain was among about 20 people in the audience who read the proposed ordinance just before the meeting.

 

The measure was passed on to the township board after being recommended last month by the Planning Commission after input from a special committee.

 

The first reading was accepted and a public hearing and second reading is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. March 14.

 

The biggest issue appeared to be the proposed ordinance’s insistence that caregivers for more than one patient or only themselves be required to operate out of a facility in commercial or industrial zoning rather than residential.

 

Township Attorney Kenneth Sparks, who prepared the ordinance wording, said the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, approved by 63 percent of voters in a state-wide ballot issue in November 2008, “is silent about where within the community it can be used.”

 

The township Planning Commission has recommended larger grow operations be confined to commercial and industrial areas.

 

“The Planning Commission wanted to be clear about where it’s allowed and where it’s not allowed,” Sparks explained.

 

But Salman Ali, a local resident whose marijuana plants were confiscated by police last year, said such zoning rules could create financial hardship on caregivers for more than one patient because they may not have sufficient capital to buy or rent a commercial or industrial location.

 

Ali also said he is disappointed that “not one member of the medical marijuana community has been contacted by the Planning Department. Why aren’t we part of the process?”

 

Others contended the proposed ordinance simply throws up too many roadblocks for people who want to use or provide a substance legal now under state law for medical purposes.

 

Trustee Mark Miller, who also serves on the Planning Commission and was on a special committee that first put together the proposed ordinance, said, “I’ve seen it through recent phases of this process and I’d like to stress there was no single comment that had indicated ‘Oh, how I wish this would go away.’ There is no intention to restrict lawful use.”

 

When asked how many people attended the Planning Commission’s public hearing on the ordinance, Miller replied none.

 

The proposed ordinance would allow a residential grow operation only if it serves one patient or the user himself or herself, except in cases of hospital or hospice care.

 

Such grow operations also could not be closer than 1,000 feet from a school or day care facility, no closer than 500 feet from a church or place of worship, no closer than 500 feet from a public park, or 1,000 feet of another primary caregiver facility.

 

Those who have registered as caregivers with local authorities will have up to six months to mover their operations if they are serving more than one patient.

 

State law permits caregivers to use a maximum of 12 marijuana plants per patient and to have up to five patients. Though the law was passed more than two years ago, the state Legislature since has left it up to local governments to decide the rules, which vary among communities.

 

The cities of Wyoming and Livonia, for example, have prohibited use, possession and sale of marijuana regardless of state law because federal law forbids it. Both cities likely will face lawsuits from the American Civil Liberties Union as a result.

 

Michigan is one of 15 states that have passed medical marijuana laws that conflict with federal guidelines, but the Obama administration has indicated it will not prosecute these medical marijuana cases.

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How can they say you can't be within 1000 feet of another caregiver facility? It is an obvious attempt to stop CoOps (Growops?). It isn't like there is a map that shows where each facility is and what locations are available.

 

And if there was a map that showed each location, why not throw in what type of security they have because all that map would be used for is for theives as a map of where to hit.

 

The only way I would support regulation like this would be if there was full legalization. Regulate the recreational users, not the medical users. Recreational people don't need MJ, but patients do. This is a medical necessity.

 

I think too many politicians think that MMJ is just a "your lucky to have a debilitating disease, you get to be high all the time", and they have no clue that a lot of MMJ patients don't even really get high off it, they relieve pain without the toxicity of chemical meds.

 

unbelieveable...

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WOW!

 

The act doesn't give authorization to ANYONE to watch TV and consume cannabis at the same time!

 

Therefore it is illegal to smoke a joint and watch TV.

LOL, love it.

 

I think it may even be worse than you think. I do not think there is a law that even allows non-medicated recreational TV watching.

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Thanks Folks, It couldn't have been better. Daniel Grow showed up and we talked for a while. Daniel is from SW Michigan and the townships know him. So the township has an advocate telling them they're going to get sued and a lawyer is watching the proceedings from the crowd. It was like a double whammy. This is a nasty ordinance. We must pack the house for the next reading. This ordinance must not be allowed to stand. A lot of sick folks will be hurt by this ordinance. Thanks, Bb

 

 

Thanks for standing up to this but i don't think it's going to stop any one from growing or getting their Meds it's just a ordinance so how will they ever find out if you are a MMJ person they can't IMO

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Thanks for standing up to this but i don't think it's going to stop any one from growing or getting their Meds it's just a ordinance so how will they ever find out if you are a MMJ person they can't IMO

 

 

I agree bob!

 

Thanks for being out there b.b, bobandtorey!

 

Go get them! as long as we are redden compliant were good right?:rolleyes:

 

Hey bob i gotta go to one of the get togethers your at, I want your autograph for the great grand kids and me of course!

 

Peace

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Are those meetings publicized? If NOT, they have a LOT of NERVE complaining that NO one SHOWS UP! I think they are though, so PEOPLE PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU GET NOTIFIED SOMEHOW OF THESE MEETINGS! DON"T give them any more reasons to make excuses against us! INFORMATION, KNOWLEDGE, EDUCATION= Self Empowerment! We represent this community, we have to be mroe active! I wish I could be. We need all you able-bodied people out there helping us! If we DON'T get it together we'll lose everything. Thank goodness for people like BB, Mr. Grow, etc. We DO have people on our side, but we can't depend on them alone, WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER, remember? I'm dong my best, in fact, I got a letter from a rep I wrote about sb17, it wasn't much, he's a republicon but at least I got something. Just a form letter, I'm sure. So I'm doing all I can within my very limited abilities.

 

Sb

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Thank you Joe, the article in the Mlive is sure to turn heads. Hopefully more than 1 or 2 at a time, but 1 or 2 steps forward are better than any taken back.

Your "Light of Compassion" shines on us all, I feel the warmth. My light shines brighter. My heart is uplifted. My life is filled with Hope, of a more Compassionate Tomorrow. Thank You Joe, your stand makes me Proud to call you Friend. Thank you 3MA, for your membership has shared a wealth of knowledge.

I smile so much bigger knowing that, "I'm not alone". Yes, I will Walk the Walk, and Talk the Talk, on May 25th. Come share a Smile!

Santas_Helper

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I agree bob!

 

Thanks for being out there b.b, bobandtorey!

 

Go get them! as long as we are redden compliant were good right?:rolleyes:

 

Hey bob i gotta go to one of the get togethers your at, I want your autograph for the great grand kids and me of course!

 

Peace

Redden compliant thats me as always from day one LOL my next stop is April 4 at 9am inn lapeer for Mr.niceguy it's his sentence day he is baned from here to post he said this guy had 4 plants and may go to prison sad days for him and i feel sorry for him and his Family

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Just wanted thank BB for showing up at the Kalamazoo Township meeting. The public hearing is scheduled for March 14 I believe at 7pm. I hope other members of the mmj community can show up to the next one. We need to show support of one another at these meetings. We in Kzoo will make sure we pack the busses to to May 25th meeting in Lansing. We need people to show us support at our local meetings as well.

Again thanks to BB for showing up.

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My Friends, We are having a huge impact on the efforts to overturn our law. The lawyer last night stated that the Right to Farm Act did not apply in rebuttal to me, because we were only allowed to receive compensation. I then asked him, why he was trying to zone us commercial? Everybody got it. We just have to do the work. Thanks, Joe

 

That's awesome logic there BB... I love it when someone can turn questions around like that. It's one I am going to have to remember.

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I'm GLAD to see there are public meetings. If I could be there I would. Everyone, please be more active, this is OUR LAW, we don't want people to think we're not protecting it because nobody shows up to defend it. Thank you to all who are doing what they can. We have a huge membership here, if everyone did their part we might be living in an easier time.

 

Sb

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Joe Cain is like the new John Wayne,there is a new sheriff in Michigan looking out for the patients and keeping his eye on LEO.

I read the other day where 1% of the ppl make things happen,9% watch things happen and the other 90% wake up one day and say wht the hell happened?

Lets join those ranks of the 1% and make things happen here in MI when we can.

Dawn

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I'm sure we'll be hearing from BB soon, he's prob'ly in lansing for the sb17 bill. I HOPE we have a PLAN in place IF that :devil: bill passes. Those a-holes are on a mad dash to destroy us, they can't see that we can help the economy, but they want EVERYTHING.

 

Just remember BB is only one man, he can't do it alone. We have to look out for each other.

 

Sb

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I am a caregiver in Kalamazoo Township. I purchased a new property expressly for my grow, and have spent considerable money to build a safe, grow with plenty of security, and consideration to my neighbors. I strictly abide by the state law, and have since I became a caregiver have assisted many patients to become self sufficient growing for themselves.

 

The law was written to protect the patients and caregivers from this type of discrimination.

 

"A person shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including but not limited to civil penalty or disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, for providing a registered qualifying patient or a registered primary caregiver with marihuana paraphernalia for purposes of a qualifying patient's medical use of marihuana."

 

The penalty for violating a zoning ordinance is a civil penalty.....so the law is very clear on this. If they want to pursue this, then we should be ready to file an injunction to stop adoption of this measure. The township has proven that they really do not care about what the public says during their meetings. This was demonstrated with their first ordinance. We should also be prepared with recall petitions for every board member that votes for this. If they don't listen to us, they will listen to the residents of the township.

 

What they further do not understand, is that patients will get their meds, with or without the caregivers. They will just be forced to go to street dealers, who often sell lower quality marijuana and harder drugs. This ordinance will increase the illegal drug trade in the township, only causing more tax dollars to be spent on drug enforcement, instead of protesting the public. They are forcing legal caregivers to hide, just like when it was not legal. The truth is that this law is poorly thought out, and is destined to fail. What is still up for consideration is how much of the taxpayers money will be wasted in defense on this ordinance.

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