Michigan Cities want Marijuana Regulations

By: Rachel Thomas Email
By: Rachel Thomas Email

Medical marijuana has lit up a haze of confusion across the state of Michigan.

"It's an absolute mess. I'm sympathetic to voters but the draft of the legislation its almost incoherent," said Mayor Kalmin Smith of Grand Ledge.

Dozens of cities across the state including Lansing, East Lansing, and Grand Ledge have imposed and estended moratoriums. They are waiting for guidance from the state to tell them how to implement this law.

"I'm hearing the same the same things from the city of Lansing. They really would like us give some help with guidelines in how in the world we are going to implement and administer this," said Rep. Joan Bauer, (D) Lansing.

'Right now the law is very grey; not because of anything the legislature did. Because it was put on the ballot by a group that wanted to legalize marijuana. They didn't care how grey it was," said Sen. Rick Jones, (R) Grand Ledge.

The medical marijuana law doesn't specify where or how plants should be grown. It also doesn't say how patients should obtain their medicine if they don't want to grow it themsleves. This is where dispensary owners have had to fill in the blanks.

"It's not illegal but it's not legal. Do it at your own risk---that's what they told me," said Alternative Medicine owner, Matthew McGill.

Store owners and city leaders both want more regulations so neither have to take risks.

"I don't want to go to jail for anything I shouldn't go to jail for," said McGill.

"We don't want to get caught in a legal quagmire where we'll have to spend time and money in court to straighten this out. We want to do it right the first time," said city councilmember Don Willems of Grand Ledge.

The mayor of Grand Ledge says cities can't keep extending temporary moratoriums forever; something he's done twice. Cities are hoping the state will lead the way. The senate judiciary committee plans to create a subcommittee that will reevaluate the medical marijuana law beginning this month.

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