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Muskegon Township Sues To Shut Down Medical-Marijuana Greater Michigan Compassion Club


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MuskegonTownship sues to shut down medical-marijuana Greater Michigan Compassion Club

 

http://www.mlive.com...es_to_shut.html

 

By John S. Hausman | Muskegon Chronicle

 

MUSKEGON TOWNSHIP — Muskegon Township has filed a lawsuitseeking to permanently shut down a busy medical-marijuana club two blocks fromtownship hall.

 

The township allegesthat the Greater Michigan Compassion Club is a tax-evading “sham” nonprofitthat exists mainly to broker marijuana sales, most of it to people with nodebilitating medical condition, in order to financially support the club'sdirectors and staff.

 

As such, the townshipclaims, the club is really a profit-making “marijuana distribution business,”in the words of township Supervisor David A. Kieft Jr.

 

As a business, it requires a business license under townshipordinances, according to the township. The club has none and wouldn't get oneif it did apply, the lawsuit makes clear.

 

The club's quarters at 2116 E. Apple also violate thetownship's fire code, endangering the lives of members, especially those who dohave truly debilitating disabilities, the township alleges.

 

The club's ExecutiveDirector Derek Antol and its attorney, Robert D. Eklund, did not return callsseeking comment.

 

Court-orderedshutdown sought

 

The lawsuit was filedin Muskegon County's 14th Circuit Court Wednesday after the township boardauthorized it earlier in the week. The township is suing the club, Antol andother directors, staff and members.

 

The township asks ajudge to order immediate evacuation of the club premises; declare the place apublic nuisance; endorse the township's interpretation of Michigan's medicalmarijuana law, which conflicts with the club's; and impose financial penaltieson the defendants, including fines of $500 per day since April 1, court costsand lawyer fees, until the club complies with township ordinances.

 

The club has untilJune 29 to file a legal response to the lawsuit, according to townshipofficials. If a settlement can't be worked out, the township could ask a judgeto issue an immediate order authorizing police to remove everyone from thepremises and padlock it.

 

MuskegonChronicle|Cory MorseDerek Antol and Samantha Conklin, officials named inMuskegon Township's lawsuit against the Greater Michigan Compassion Club andits directors, in a 2010 photo.

 

 

'Bad idea, illegal, wrong location'

 

“It is our beliefthat the Greater Michigan Compassion Club is operating a marijuana distributionbusiness,” Kieft said in a written statement on behalf of the township.“Nothing in the current state statute legitimizes any such notion of adispensary or 'compassion' gathering place.

 

“Rather, this is alocation where armed guards supply the needed security during all businesshours to protect the narcotics and the cash located on site,” Kieft said. “Thisis obviously a concern for law enforcement and everyone in the township.

 

“More importantlyperhaps, is the protection of card-carrying patients who smoke marijuana tohelp them overcome verifiable disabilities, and their assemblage in a structurethat is without proper exits in case of fire, without handicapped access forthose who qualify, and adequate bathrooms for those in need,” Kieft said.

 

“This is not only abad idea, it is also illegal and in the wrong location.”

 

Township allegations

 

Derek Antol

 

The bluntly wordedlawsuit alleges, among other things:

 

• The club operates a“certification mill,” with a Cadillac-based “captive physician” earning a feefor each applicant the doctor certifies for a medical marijuana card, but nofee when an applicant is rejected;

 

• A multitude ofpeople are being certified who don't have “debilitating” medical conditions, asthe law requires, and who then join the club;

 

• The club premisesare used for members to sell marijuana to other members at an average price of$325 per ounce, with the club getting a 20 percent fee on each sale, and manyof the buyers later reselling it illegally on the street;

 

• The club'sdirectors and staff are supported mainly by the proceeds of the 20 percent fee,supplemented by direct sales of marijuana-laced baked goods and pipes, bongsand other paraphernalia;

 

• The club employeeshave failed to report at least some of their income to the state and the U.S.Internal Revenue Service, and the club and its "caregivers" did notpay any sales taxes at all through March 31.

 

 

The township'scomplaint also notes that Antol is a convicted drug dealer who served prisontime, something he's never concealed, and that the club openly advocateslegalization of marijuana for recreational use, with its website featuring aplaylist of weed-promoting music.

 

Email: jhausman@muskegonchronicle.com

 

 

Posted by Michael Komorn

 

18006563557

 

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I'm not sure how they can allege that most buyers are reselling it on the street. Also, at $325/oz, how much profit could you get reselling it? Not much, wouldn't be worth it. Sounds like they are fabricating that part of it. I would love to see their "proof" as to "manyof the buyers later reselling it illegally on the street". Also, I would like to see what doctor they used to verify that " A multitude ofpeople are being certified who don't have “debilitating” medical conditions".

 

I am not passing judgement on the rest of it, I don't like certification mills, and I don't like dispensaries that are just there for a profit, however those 2 points above just sound like false allegations with no facts behind them to paint a dirty picture of the place to swing a jury/judge.

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as a non profit organsation, don't you need to just spend the money, And can you tax something that didn't happen no marijuana was sold that is illegal. people were reinbursed for their time and material. so how can you collect tax money? We need to key in on the some facts. 1 that they are preventing us from getting our medicine. 2 they are discriminating against us because we are different. 3 we have the right to be healthy and free of pain. again we need to get some law students to start research case law to see if there is anything that can help us with the movement.

Dream

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The club employees have failed to report at least some of their income to the state and the U.S.Internal Revenue Service, and the club and its "caregivers" did no tpay any sales taxes at all through March 31

 

How does the city know this? Does the city have access to IRS records?

 

1 maybe they pay there taxes at the end of the year like so many people "1099 form"

 

maybe they volentered for free, it is a non profit.

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It sounds to me like this suit is mostly hot air. Most all of the compassion clubs do at least some of the activites alleged here. Point by point a good lawyer should be able to answer each accusation and collectively they certainly look like harrassment, poorly worded harrassment at that. It appears they are throwing every thing at them and hoping something sticks, or they can't afford lawyers to fight it. If there were actual violations, I'm sure they would have been raided. I can't wait for the resulting counter suit........shredder

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I just saw this on news 8. Another biased report. They made claims without presenting any supporting evidence.

 

Really I blame News 8 for not doing any fact checking or demanding supporting evidence. The state of journalism today is a disgrace. They just took what was said by the township official without asking any questions.

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I just saw this on news 8. Another biased report. They made claims without presenting any supporting evidence.

 

Really I blame News 8 for not doing any fact checking or demanding supporting evidence. The state of journalism today is a disgrace. They just took what was said by the township official without asking any questions.

 

 

yea they always do that. always...........

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The biggest problem I have with the suit is they are alleging that they know what people do or do not have a dibilitating condition. They can tell I had a golfball size tumor wedged between my pituitary and my brain. They can tell that my wife has M.S. that is being held at bay by mmj. While I have never been there who the hell do these people think they are. This is a good way for you to keep me from spending money in you township.

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