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Legal Costs Rise In Royal Oak Pot Ban Battle

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By Catherine Kavanaugh

Daily Tribune Staff Writer


ROYAL OAK — Opponents of home-grown medical marijuana say it will hurt property values, increase crime and provide local youth easy access to a gateway drug.


They say the cost to society could be high.


So too could the cost to taxpayers, who will foot the bill for cities to fight lawsuits like the one filed by multiple sclerosis patient Christopher Frizzo, 46, of Royal Oak.


Frizzo isn’t seeking monetary damages. He is asking an Oakland County Circuit Court judge to void a new Royal Oak zoning ordinance that bans the cultivation of medical marijuana in residential and commercial areas.


The City Commission approved spending up to $18,000 to defend its ordinance.


“That’s a ballpark figure I came up with if this case is appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court,” City Attorney David Gillam said.


Frizzo’s attorney, Paul Tylenda, said, “That doesn’t sound right. It seems very conservative. You can have a $500 morning just for being in court.”


Legal bills also are being racked up in Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Livonia, Bloomfield Township and Lyon Township for their local ordinances on medical marijuana.


“Five Oakland County communities are being sued. That $18,000 is Royal Oak specific. It’s the tip of the iceberg,” said Tylenda, who is representing Frizzo for free with co-counsel Neil Rockind. “I hear all these intangible arguments of property values going down. Well, here’s a real cost, and it’s just going to get worse. That’s just the initial deposit.”

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I'd like to hear someone (other than those in the MMJ community) talking about what a great economic effect MMJ has had on the horrific condition of local Michigan economies.


2 of the 3 dispensaries I've been to are in non-prime retail locations that were vacant for years. Growers are spending tons of money on supplies and equipment. Many of these growers are making money. . . I'm sure plenty of them are people that have been laid off.


Is not MMJ cultivation the only growth industry in Michigan?? People can harp about "green technologies" turning our economy around, but anybody with a brain knows that no one will be buying American made wind turbines and solar panels, when they can be purchased for a fraction from overseas manufacturers. MMJ is doing that right now.


Yet, we don't hear anyone talking about the positive aspects of our movement. Increasing crime?? Isn't it obvious that it is already reducing crime?? I don't have to buy my MJ from a dealer anymore!! I'm sure there's more than a few people on this forum that fall into the same category. Gateway drug?? By that rational, Kool Aid is a gateway drug for beer.

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