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Macomb Reinstates Medical Marijuana Moratorium, Prepares Permanent Ordinance

The moratorium, which prohibits the issuance of any permits, licenses or approvals for the sale or dispensation of medical marijuana within Macomb Township limits, will be in place for the next 120 days.

Medical marijuana is one business the Macomb board of trustees doesn't plan to welcome into the township in the near future.

The board passed a moratorium Wednesday to suspend the issuance of any permits, licenses or approvals for the sale or dispensation of medical marijuana within township limits for the next 120 days. By the time this moratorium expires, the board expects to have a permanent ordinance in place.

The township’s previous ordinance was struck down by a July 31 Michigan Court of Appeals decision that ruled any municipal ordinances prohibiting medical marijuana based on the fact that federal law prohibits the use and or possession of marijuana are now void and unenforceable.

“A city ordinance that purports to prohibit what a state statute permits is void,” the opinion reads, meaning that the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act cannot be preempted by the Federal Controlled Substances Act.

As a result, Macomb Township and other municipalities across the state must now redraft their ordinances.

“We’re going to have to accommodate (the language of the ruling) but put restrictions that meet the concerns of the community,” said Macomb Township Clerk Michael Koehs. “That may include amendments to our zoning ordinance, but that’s why it has to be reviewed by legal counsel.”

While the moratorium is in place, the township will not be able to consider any requests to establish a medical marijuana business in Macomb.

The township in April 2011 and .

Jamie August 10, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Thank you- I mean both the unique opportunity to profoundly affect people by offering health care choices proven to dramatically improve the quality of and, in some cases, save lives, as well as the ability to utilize vacant commercial space, create jobs, and attract outsiders to other local businesses. Several of these centers have been in operation since shortly after the MMMA was overwhelmingly approved by the voters and citizens of Michigan. There has been no real negative issues, but there has been clear evidence that these operations create a unique "win win" for helping people and the economy. As the restrictive and prohibitive and blatantly incorrect opinions and rulings by the Attorney General and the courts, get reversed by the State Supreme Court and by patient friendly legislation such as HB5580, more communities wil want to embrace this opportunity. If the Macomb leaders in local government really do want to continue to be restrictive and prohibitive with commercial activity, they can do so. However, several communities surrounding them will embrace it, help people and benefit economically. If Macomb remains uninterested in accepting this kind of activity, it will do so in the face of the logic but not the law. However, as long as people are restricted from realizing the rights and protections the Act creates, in their homes, then Macomb would be exceeding their authority as a local government.
Joy August 10, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Very well put Jamie.
Brad Forrester August 10, 2012 at 04:48 PM
The Township MAY be able to regulate the commercial dispensing of medical cannabis through an ordinance, but the Appeals Court ruled they can not pass any ordinance amendment that restricts the medical use of cannabis by registered patients or caregivers who are acting in accordance with the MMMAct. See this document for ordinance guidelines: http://cheboygannorml.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/MMMAandOrdinances.pdf Interestingly, this ruling and the MI Supreme Court ruling in People v. King/Kolanek, provides a strong argument as to why card holders on parole or probation must be allowed to engage in the medical use of cannabis while on parole or probation. See this document: http://cheboygannorml.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/ParoleesProbationers.pdf Trustees must tread very carefully, the cannabis community will challenge any ordinance amendment provision that conflicts with these court opinions.
Thinking Clearly August 10, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Not allowing the issuance of any permits has the same effect as a ban. They are in non compliance with the courts in this respect and they will not long be able to skirt the law. Might as well quit stalling and get on with it.
Steven Thompson August 12, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Macomb Township residents,get rid of these self-righteous dinosaurs if YOU don't agree with what they are doing!! It is your duty to do this! But if you do agree with what they are doing,then stick your heads in the sand and do nothing. The choice is YOURS and YOURS alone!! Rev.Steven B.Thompson Former Executive Director of Michigan NORML

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