cannabisnews.com: Rules on Med Pot Should Stick To Proposal's Spirit
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Rules on Med Pot Should Stick To Proposal's Spirit
Posted by CN Staff on June 01, 2010 at 04:15:50 PT
Editorial
Source: Livingston Daily Press
MI -- When Michigan voters approved Proposal 1 in 2008, allowing those with certain chronic illnesses to grow and smoke marijuana medicinally, it is doubtful they also intended that approval to extend to the legalization of pot-smoking clubs.It is a good idea to go back and review the debate over this proposition from September and October of 2008. The Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care had circulated a petition to place the question on the November ballot, and polling indicated that voters were sympathetic to its cause.
Another organization called Citizens Protecting Michigan Kids took the opposition point of view. Among the concerns it raised was that legalization of medical marijuana in California had led to the creation of numerous dispensaries and smoke clubs there. In one neighborhood, the group pointed out, there were more smoke clubs and dispensaries than Starbucks coffeehouses.The belief was that, in California, medical marijuana was being used as a cover for recreational use and abuse, and the fear was that it would happen here too.The Coalition for Compassionate Care called that a "scare tactic." Dianne Byrum, the head of the coalition, said it was misleading and unfair to suggest Proposal 1 would just transport California's law to Michigan. She said there were more safeguards in our state's Proposal 1 and in the 11 other states that had also approved medical marijuana, no others had seen smoke clubs or pot shops cropping up.That's not exactly a guarantee, but the implication was that Proposal 1 would not open the door to smoke clubs and dispensaries.Michigan voters accepted that and approved Proposal 1 handily, giving sufferers who get a registry card from the state the ability to grow marijuana for their personal use. It also allowed registered caregivers the ability to grow up to 12 plants each for a maximum of five patients.The proposal didn't say anything about dispensaries, pot shops or smoke clubs. Now, exactly those facilities are in the news.Last week, police raided the Green Leaf Smokers Club, northeast of Williamston in Ingham County, and arrested its owner, the Rev. Frederick Wayne Dagit, on five drug charges, including delivery or manufacture of more than 99 pounds of marijuana. The maximum penalty for that charge is 15 years in prison.Earlier in the week, the Howell City Council had voted 6-1 to amend its zoning ordinance to essentially prohibit dispensaries and smoke clubs. This year, the Green Oak Township Board of Trustees considered an addition to its zoning rules to address the issue. The township has not adopted any rule yet, but has the proposal under review by township officials and its attorney.Here's the essential point. When Michigan voters approved this proposal, they intended to make sure sufferers of chronic illness could get access to their medicine, even though the medicine was marijuana. There was nothing in the debate or in the proposal to indicate that what voters really wanted was to thinly disguise decriminalization of recreational use. Quite to the opposite, proponents said that was a scare tactic.So it appears that if local units of government want to regulate them  to prohibit smoke clubs and dispensaries outright, or pass zoning rules restricting them to a particular part of town  then they are free to do so.They should endeavor to stay within the spirit of Proposal 1. That spirit was to make sure that the sick can possess and take the medication they need, in this case, marijuana, without fear of being arrested or harassed by police. But that can be accomplished without the guarantee of a pot club on Main Street.Earlier in the week, the Howell City Council had voted 6-1 to amend its zoning ordinance to essentially prohibit dispensaries and smoke clubs. This year, the Green Oak Township Board of Trustees considered an addition to its zoning rules to address the issue. The township has not adopted any rule yet, but has the proposal under review by township officials and its attorney.Here's the essential point. When Michigan voters approved this proposal, they intended to make sure sufferers of chronic illness could get access to their medicine, even though the medicine was marijuana. There was nothing in the debate or in the proposal to indicate that what voters really wanted was to thinly disguise decriminalization of recreational use. Quite to the opposite, proponents said that was a scare tactic.So it appears that if local units of government want to regulate them  to prohibit smoke clubs and dispensaries outright, or pass zoning rules restricting them to a particular part of town  then they are free to do so.They should endeavor to stay within the spirit of Proposal 1. That spirit was to make sure that the sick can possess and take the medication they need, in this case, marijuana, without fear of being arrested or harassed by police. But that can be accomplished without the guarantee of a pot club on Main Street.Source: Livingston County Daily Press & Argus (MI)Published: June 1, 2010Copyright: 2010 Livingston Daily Press & ArgusWebsite: http://www.livingstondaily.comContact: http://drugsense.org/url/23S0e9bzURL: http://drugsense.org/url/h1c0kPVPCannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/medical.shtml 
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Comment #2 posted by dongenero on June 01, 2010 at 08:19:34 PT
"spirit"?
That's one way to try and beat an election. Ignore the numbers and then contend that what is happening is not in the "spirit" of what people voted for.I think the real problem is that the voters decided against arrogant, self-centered prohibitionists.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on June 01, 2010 at 05:34:17 PT
State Rep. Calling For Ban On Marijuana Clubs
June 1, 2010URL: http://www.whtc.com/news/articles/2010/jun/01/state-rep-calling-ban-marijuana-clubs/
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