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Jackson, Michigan Considers Medical Dispensary Ordinance Ban

Jackson, Michigan Considers Medical Dispensary Ordinance Ban

Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 08/05/2012 in Medical Marijuana News

In Jackson, Michigan, both new and existing medical marijuana dispensaries would be banned under an ordinance that is being considered by the Jackson City Council. Banning medical marijuana dispensaries would go against the will of Michigan voters and force patients of medical marijuana to wait even longer for their drugs or they’ll be forced to buy it illegally.

The Jackson City Council is considering three-versions of an ordinance that would regulate medical marijuana. Medical marijuana became legal in Michigan after voters approved a ballot proposal back in 2008. City Attorney Julius Giglio said, “None of the ordinances allow dispensaries.”

One version of the ordinance would allow qualifying medical marijuana patients and primary caregivers to use and cultivate marijuana only at their homes, while the second version would allow growth at certain non-dwelling locations in commercial and industrial business districts in addition to in the residencies of patients and primary caregivers.

The third version would ban medical marijuana in the city in its entirety. The Jackson City Council’s city affairs committee has ruled out recommending the third version, but there is a strong chance it can still be considered by the entire council. The committee had planned to make a recommendation on Tuesday, but that was further delayed because they wanted to study the matter more in depth.

Director of the Jackson Compassion Club, Roger Maufort, advocates for medical marijuana patients and said they those patients would suffer immensely if dispensaries are banned. Maufort said that it is extremely unreasonable to ask someone who has been diagnosed with cancer to wait for marijuana to grow in order for him or her to use it for medicinal purposes. “A patient can’t wait five months to medicate. Cancer doesn’t wait,” said Maufort.

The Jackson Compassion Club, located at 1630 E. Michigan Ave, provides medical marijuana to patients and would no longer be able to operate under the newly proposed ordinance. Maufort said the organization has served over 4,000 medical marijuana patients since February of 2009, and currently has at least 1,000 to 1,500 patients in its registry. Roger Maufort believes that patients will probably have to turn to their kids and grandkids in order to find them the marijuana that they so desperately need.

Jackson City Attorney Julius Giglio said medical marijuana dispensaries are already technically illegal, but that is based on his interpretation of a court ruling in Mount Pleasant that is being appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court. Giglio said, “Anyone that’s passing out marijuana would be dispensing marijuana, which would not be allowed under the ordinance, and by our reading of the case law, would not be allowed currently under the state law.”

Joe Cain, owner of the Jackson County Farmer’s Market, located at 135 W. Pearl Street, provides medical marijuana to patients and read the law that was approved by voters to Jackson City Council members on Tuesday. Cain said the law says nothing about allowing the kind of regulations that are being considered, and all the decisions and opinions that are being taken into action are just plain wrong.

Joe Cain told the city affairs committee that he doesn’t consider the Jackson County Farmer’s Market a dispensary even though it would be down by the proposed ordinance. “We’re not a dispensary,” Cain said. “We don’t sell medicine to make profit. We do this to help people.” Cain’s market loses over $200 a week.

In January 2011, the Jackson City Council issued a moratorium on any new medical marijuana establishments while the proposed ordinance was being drafted.

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