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Townships Solicit Opinions From Law Enforcement On Medical Marijuana


Hempcheff
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Plainfield Township planning commissioners entered their regular meeting May 24 with the intention of approving a recommendation to the Township Board that would ban medical marijuana dispensaries.

 

But after a discussion lead by Trooper/Det. Roberto Anaya of the Michigan State Police and Kent County Narcotics Enforcement Team (KANET), commissioners decided against promoting the ban and instead recommended the board renew Plainfield's moratorium on the sale or dispersal of medical marijuana.

 

"We've worked with it but I believe this new information is enough grounds to continue the moratorium. And I really think that's what we should do," said Jack Hagedorn, current board representative to the Planning Commission.

 

Back in January, Plainfield hosted a joint meeting encompassing members of the Township Board, Planning Commission and Board of Appeals. During that meeting it was decided the township should look seriously at drafting an ordinance to address the use of medical marijuana within the township as permitted under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) of 2008.

 

In subsequent months, the approach endorsed by township attorneys and Community Development Director Bill Fischer has been to prohibit dispensaries but remain silent on other issues, such as where patient-caregiver business is allowed to take place.

 

The Plainfield Township moratorium is set to expire in August. It has been in place for about a year.

 

Fischer invited Anaya to attend the May 24 meeting at the request of the commission to provide insight into how law enforcement officers have been dealing with the MMMA.

 

Supervisor Dennis Hoemke and two others from Algoma Township attended the Plainfield meeting as well. Hoemke said they came to listen and observe.

 

Algoma Township has been debating how to regulate medical marijuana within its boarders as well.

 

Hoemke said the board first passed a moratorium in December but shortly thereafter, a medical marijuana club - Project Safer - opened off Algoma Avenue. This club specifically is interested in opening a dispensary. However, Algoma also was on the brink of deciding against them, Hoemke said.

 

Anaya believes there are now 14 states in the U.S. permitting the use of medical marijuana.

 

"California has had this for years. Michigan is playing catch up, trying to figure out how best to handle it," he said.

 

The easiest thing from a law enforcement perspective would be to allow dispensaries, he explained. Anaya said from a safety point of view, he also would prefer medical marijuana-related business be outlawed in the home.

 

Per the MMMA, registered patients are allowed to have 2.5 ounces of processed marijuana in their possession. Anaya said if you were to take a sandwich bag and fill it, 2.5 ounces would fill a space approximately 1-inch high across the bottom of the bag.

 

"Really that's quite a bit of marijuana for personal use," he said. "Someone is probably stoned 24/7 if they are doing that much."

 

Anaya said many people growing medical marijuana today are experts and have very sophisticated grow operations in their homes, complete with carbon dioxide tanks, nitrogen tanks, heat lamps, et cetera, which raise a number of concerns.

 

"It's basically like having a greenhouse in your home," Anaya said. "So there is the potential for mold and other environmental or health problems as well as the risk of fire."

 

Today's growers also have perfected their concentrations of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), he said. THC is the psychoactive compound found in marijuana.

 

"Some have (marijuana) seeds flown in from as far as Amsterdam," said the 30-year police veteran and former DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officer. "THC levels are higher than we have ever seen."

 

Since February, Anaya and KANET have inspected just less than 50 grow operations and one has been in compliance with the law, Anaya said. The biggest issue appears to be excess - too many plants or too much product that people don't know what to do with.

 

"We yank (plants) and take extra product as evidence. ... State prosecutors have said they will prosecute (offenders of the MMMA), but we have yet to see a prosecutor issue any warrants," Anaya said. "And I know for a fact, several cases are pending for review but they have not been dealt with."

 

He added it's possible to process one pound of useable marijuana from a single plant. On the street, one pound of marijuana could sell for $1,000 to $3,000 depending on the type of marijuana, he said.

 

"If a caregiver has more product than he needs and no place to get rid of it, it's more likely he would sell to a non-patient because that's a lot of money," Anaya said.

 

The medical marijuana industry could potentially generate millions of dollars in revenue for the state. For this reason, Anaya believes Gov. Rick Snyder will soon begin addressing dispensaries and medical marijuana.

 

Anaya believes, from a law enforcement perspective, it would be easier to inspect and regulate if medical marijuana was licensed and taxed similar to how liquor is through the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, which also would mean the number of licenses given out would be based on an area's population.

 

"Then we could walk in cold (to a dispensary) and do an inspection," he said.

 

If license holders were violating any laws, they could be written up and eventually have their licenses revoked, Anaya said.

 

He believes this would be easier to enforce than municipalities trying to regulate medical marijuana to a residential, commercial or industrial zone.

 

"In my opinion, I don't believe those townships will be able to enforce that," Anaya said.

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Per the MMMA, registered patients are allowed to have 2.5 ounces of processed marijuana in their possession. Anaya said if you were to take a sandwich bag and fill it, 2.5 ounces would fill a space approximately 1-inch high across the bottom of the bag.

 

"Really that's quite a bit of marijuana for personal use," he said. "Someone is probably stoned 24/7 if they are doing that much."

 

 

I don't know where they get their info, but I have pretty tight nuggets and I can't fit 2.5 oz in 1" in the bottom of a sandwich bag. 1inch is more like 1/4.

 

Also, I am a lightweight as far as use goes, and packed into food, I can easily go through 2.5 oz in a month without being medicated at all except on weekends.

 

People are so misinformed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Trooper/Det. Roberto Anaya you're both ignorant and insulting, a career cop if I ever seen one. How dare you steal money from the people of Michigan by getting paid being as stupid as you are.

 

Aren't cops required to have an education, or can just any schmo get hired into the state police.

 

Maybe someday your family will meet up with a drunk driving pill head while you're out busting heads of legal cannabis patients and caregivers.

 

Trooper/Det. Roberto Anaya said;

Quote

 

'Per the MMMA, registered patients are allowed to have 2.5 ounces of processed marijuana in their possession. Anaya said if you were to take a sandwich bag and fill it, 2.5 ounces would fill a space approximately 1-inch high across the bottom of the bag"

 

Quote

 

"Really that's quite a bit of marijuana for personal use," he said. "Someone is probably stoned 24/7 if they are doing that much."

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