Cities Rush To Limit Medical Marijuana
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Cities Rush To Limit Medical Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on January 30, 2010 at 06:22:35 PT
By Korie Wilkins and Bill Laitner, Staff Writers
Source: Detroit Free Press
Michigan -- Christopher Frizzo of Royal Oak said marijuana helps him battle symptoms of his multiple sclerosis. But during a routine traffic stop Jan. 11, police took his medical marijuana and refused to return it, said Frizzo, 47.Although he was approved by the state to use medical marijuana, he didn't register for a state-approved caregiver to be his supplier, Frizzo admitted. His state registration card is stamped "No Caregiver."
When the cop saw that, he had to seize Frizzo's seven grams of grass -- roughly seven cigarettes' worth -- "or we're legitimizing an illegal drug purchase," City Attorney Dave Gillam said. Frizzo said he got the drug from a licensed caregiver, but not from anyone he'd named in his state paperwork.The dispute highlights one of the ways local governments are struggling to deal with Michigan's new law on medicinal marijuana. Another dispute has communities across metro Detroit debating whether to pass local ordinances on who can dispense medical marijuana, and where.The law has led to "disagreements all across the state," Michigan Department of Community Health spokesman James McCurtis said."The law needs changes," Frizzo said. Communities Seek To Regulate Marijuana  Communities in Michigan are passing or considering zoning changes and ordinances to regulate the distribution of medical marijuana from within their borders.Livonia passed an ordinance last fall. Grosse Pointe and Huntington Woods did so this month. Clawson, Royal Oak and Hazel Park are drafting ordinances.The state's medical marijuana law, overwhelmingly passed by voters in 2008, is vague on where and how state-approved providers of the drug -- called caregivers -- can dispense marijuana to state-certified patients."I suspect over the coming months, virtually every city will pass some type of ordinance" on marijuana, Huntington Woods City Manager Alex Allie said.Many local officials said it is imperative to get something on the books that regulates or bans dispensaries, a term in other states for shops that sell marijuana to anyone approved for using it as medicine.Michigan's act does not mention dispensaries, and the Michigan Department of Community Health, in a statement last week, said "it is illegal to operate a marijuana dispensary here."The number of people who want to use marijuana for medical purposes -- and are required to get a doctor's approval -- is swelling. More than 7,000 patients and 3,000 caregivers -- those licensed to grow marijuana for patients -- have registered with Lansing.What some call Michigan's first dispensary began selling pot this month in Ypsilanti.But operator Anthony Freed, founder and CEO of the Michigan Marijuana Chamber of Commerce, calls it "a compassion center." He compared it to a private club."We had our first 100 patients within five hours with no advertising," Freed, 31, of Brooklyn, Mich., said Friday.Livonia has prohibited dispensaries, though City Attorney Don Knapp said cities don't want to stop legitimate users from alleviating their suffering."There are physicians advertising for patients just to approve them for using marijuana," Knapp said.Huntington Woods' ordinance, passed Jan. 19, forbids dispensaries and regulates caregivers, case by case."Basically, we will allow what the state allows for an individual cultivating this in their own house, for their own use," Allie said.The ordinances someday will be challenged in state courts, said Detroit lawyer Matthew Abel, who said he specializes in advising caregivers of their rights.Ordinances in Livonia and other cities amount to "a paranoid attempt to keep out all illegal drugs while stifling the legitimate medical use of marijuana," Abel said.Tammy Stables Battaglia contributed to this report.Expo This Weekend:The First Annual Marijuana Caregivers Cup Expo is being held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Sunday at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest, 1275 S. Huron in Ypsilanti. The expo, with classes and exhibits both days, is open to the public.Tickets are $15 for one day or $25 for both days. For tickets or information, go to: Tickets also can be purchased at the event.Source: Detroit Free Press (MI)Author:  Korie Wilkins and Bill Laitner, Free Press Staff WritersPublished: January 30, 2010Copyright: 2010 Detroit Free PressWebsite: letters freepress.comURL: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on January 30, 2010 at 12:04:58 PT:
Granny Storm Crow's observation
is the tack that must be taken when dealing with the fence-sitters."It's a just a crying shame that the prohibitionists want to put more people on unemployment or welfare, and make sick people suffer!"I cannot emphasize this enough: the battle will not be won by appealing to, as Lincoln put it, 'the better angels' of the public's 'nature', only by calling attention to what damage the War on (Some) Drugs is doing to their wallets.Bitter? Yes. Cynical? Well, as my late Mum used to put it, "I come by it honest". I wish it were not necessary to be so, but the sad fact is that the public is not moved by stories of the tragedies created by drug prohibition...but they sure sit up and take notice when you talk money. And in these times, money doesn't just speak loudly, it bullhorns. That is the approach that is garnering the most interest and support from the public in places such as cash-strapped and fiscally-endangered California, and one the prohibs attack at the risk of being immolated in a flame war they can't win. For their sophomoric attempts to make it personal ("You only want to do this to get high!") can immediately be rounded on them with multiple force ("You only want to continue this failed prohibition to get paid!") thanks to the demonstrable failure of prohibition to control illicit drugs and having spent a trillion pre-Meltdown dollars in 'accomplishing' that failure.Money, money, money. I wish the issue did not have to be so...simplified...for it to merit public perusal. A rich and terrible history of gross injustice has been written in the blood of innocents for a century, now. But like most such things, few of the public are even aware of it, and fewer still would care. But when it comes to money, they care, alright. They care a lot. 
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Comment #4 posted by runruff on January 30, 2010 at 11:20:12 PT
Cities rush
to limit cats jumping out of the bag!
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Comment #3 posted by Storm Crow on January 30, 2010 at 11:06:08 PT
You got it , Sam! 
Even our smallest local dispensary employs at least 6 people that I know of! Then there's the behind the scenes grower/suppliers and makers of edibles and all the non-direct people who provide the minor items at the dispensaries- rolling papers, pipes, books, t-shirts and so on. Gardening and hardware stores get extra business, taking care of the munchies impacts groceries and cafes.... All that money keeps changing hands as long as the dispensaries are open. It's a just a crying shame that the prohibitionists want to put more people on unemployment or welfare, and make sick people suffer! 
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Comment #2 posted by Treeanna on January 30, 2010 at 09:50:09 PT
Not smart
That guy should have remembered the golden rule of police encounters - "keep your mouth shut, and ask for your lawyer".
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Comment #1 posted by Sam Adams on January 30, 2010 at 07:55:49 PT
the REAL headline
"City government rushes to eliminate new businesses, jobs in the middle of Michigan economic collapse"
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