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Holland Twp. Board Threatened With Two Lawsuits

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Holland, MI –The Holland Township board was threatened with lawsuits twice Thursday evening during an emotionally charged meeting as it considered a pair of ordinances that would regulate medical marijuana in the township.

The board heard the first reading of a licensing ordinance outlining in detail where medical marijuana can be grown in the township, and which also would require all caregivers to license their location with the township.

It also heard the first reading of a zoning ordinance that would, in essence, make medical marijuana dispensaries illegal in the township.

Joe Caim, chief executive officer of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, challenged the licensing ordinance, saying its ultimate effect would be to require caregivers to reveal themselves. He said it is in direct contradiction of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.

"The very essence of the act is to protect patients and caregivers. We can't have patients and caregivers be afraid. Once we go down that path, it never ends," Caim said. "If you pass this ordinance, you have violated the law. What you have done tonight, by walking into this trap you have set for yourself, is setting yourself up for lawsuits."

Caim said the Michigan state legislature has pledged to take a closer look at the Medical Marijuana Act – which many consider to be too ambiguous – after it passes the state budget. He urged the township to hold off on passing any ordinances until the state addresses the issue.

Monica Bakker, community outreach director for Patient Solutions 420, a medical marijuana dispensary now operating in the Holland Township, alleged that the township board violated an open meetings act when it discussed the issue after the March 3 board meeting had been adjourned.

She said Township Supervisor Terry Nienhuis led a discussion during which the board members agreed they wanted the planning commission to write a medical marijuana ordinance the board could pass, rather than convene a joint commission of township trustees and planning commissioners to discuss the issue. The planning commission two days earlier had proposed the joint meeting.

"In violating the Michigan Open Meetings Act, you all have committed a misdemeanor. I hope going forward you will be able to do it in a way that doesn't break the law," she said.

"We do intend to sue the township. We do not want to do that. It's unfortunate that it has come to this."

Bakker also said Patient Solutions is also considering starting recall procedures against all seven board members.

Township treasurer Vince Bush denied Bakker's allegations.

"I was at all the meetings she was at. There was no off-the-record vote," he said. "I think the ordinance puts in place what's fair for all concerned. It's a poorly written state law and we are doing our best to uphold it."

The board is expected to hear the second reading of the ordinances at its May 19 meeting, and will likely vote on both at that time.

News Hawk- Jacob Ebel 420 MAGAZINE
Source: hollandsentinel.com
Author: Gary Brower
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: GateHouse Media, Inc.
Website: Holland Twp. board threatened with 2 lawsuits


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Their is but one law and it is prohibition.:peace:
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