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City Of Jackson's Medical Marijuana Ordinance Under Fire As Advocates Organize Protest In Front Of City Hall

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JACKSON, MI – Jackson medical marijuana advocates are planning to take to the streets in August to protest the city.

Jackson City Council was expected to pass a medical marijuana ordinance last month, but postponed its decision after many Jackson residents voiced their displeasure with the law. Now, advocates are planning a 4 p.m. protest outside Jackson City Hall before the council's August 13 meeting, when city officials plan to revisit the ordinance.

City Council members are expected to vote to enact or repeal the ordinance at the meeting, which is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on the second floor of City Hall, 161 W. Michigan Ave.

Medical Marijuana Farmers Market owner Joe Cain is organizing the protest. It is the second protest Cain has spearheaded, after rallying 200 to protest Jackson County officials in March.

"I have never seen something so arrogant in my entire life," Cain said of ordinance to council members last month. "How Orwellian can you get? Your ordinance ... is in direct defiance of the state."

A Facebook event page has been created for the protest. On the website, advocates accuse City Council members of knowing the ordinance is wrong and going against public opinion.

The draft regulation, which was first read June 11, allows for home use but does not allow for dispensaries within the city.

Residents opposed to the law say it's the details of the city's planned ordinance that restrict their rights and go against state law. One of the issues residents have is a provision that only allows for medical marijuana use within "20 percent of a person's home," among others.

"We all know that Jackson has a big problem with prescription drugs, yet you want to criminalize marijuana," area resident Vivian Curl said to council members. "The people — the same people that elected you — voted this medicine in. We have a choice and a freedom, respect that."



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