In a pair of meetings on June 8 and 9, Commerce Township will consider to what degree they allow people to participate in the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) by considering an ordinance that would restrict how and where patients can grow their marijuana.
Attorneys and activists alike are in an uproar over the proposed language.
The ordinance offers a unique and restrictive definition of who can grow and where it can be done. It also requires some unique security and monitoring standards that exceed any other measure currently in place in other cities.
To begin, the 'Definitions' section of the proposal contains provocative language. From the proposal:
Medical marijuana cultivation facility means a building where more than twelve (12) marijuana plants are being grown in compliance with the MMMA.
Medical marijuana dispensary means a building or part of a building where there is a transfer of marijuana between primary caregivers or between qualifying patients. This definition does not include a building in which the transfer of marijuana occurs between a primary caregiver and his or her qualifying patient.
Plant means any marihuana plant with not more than one readily observable root formation.
Defining a plant based on root structure is a completely unique interpretation, one that demands a scientific explanation. A house where more than twelve marijuana plants are grown is often a home where both spouses are medical marijuana patients. There appears to be no allowance within the ordinance for this family-friendly growing scenario.
Extraordinary restrictions and record keeping is proposed by the Commerce Township ordinance. "The primary caregiver shall keep a written log including the identifying number, date and time of every person entering the medical marihuana cultivation facility, which shall be made available to law enforcement..."
A log of each and every person entering the building is a more restrictive requirement than used by gun-wielding guards in the State Capitol Building, the Anderson House Building or any police department anywhere.
Despite recent court rulings eliminating a federal basis for restricting medical marijuana activities locally, the Commerce Township ordinance contains this phrase:
"...marijuana continues to be classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance under federal law making it unlawful under federal law to use, manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense marijuana."
"This proposal appears to carry several violations of the Supreme Court decision in Ter Beek vs Wyoming," said Jamie Lowell, Chairman of the Michigan chapter of Americans for Safe Access, a national patient advocacy organization.
The proposal will be heard during a Planning and Zoning meeting on June 8, followed by a vote of the Township Board on the 9th.
David Rudoi, an attorney from Royal Oak, said, "This is really going to hurt patients."
Rudoi will be in attendance at the township council meeting on Tuesday along with other attorneys with interests in the outcome, including Southfield lawyer Farris Haddad.
"These ordinances are an expressed attempt to violate people's protections under the MMMA, to keep them from being caregivers within their own home, forcing them into specific areas which will drive up their cost and result in a greater cost to the medicine in the end," Rudoi said.
Both meetings are open to the public.
Monday, June 8- 7pm Planning and Zoning meeting
Tuesday, June 9- 7pm Township Board meeting
2009 Township Dr., Commerce, Michigan, 48390
Source: The Compassion Chronicles