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Medical Marijuana Moratorium Seeking Extension

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ROGERS CITY - Planning commission members agreed to ask the City of Rogers City Council to extend the current moratorium on medical marijuana another six months. But members clashed on the meaning of ordinance language written by City Attorney Mike Vogler.

During the commission's March meeting, Rogers City resident Richard Tyll questioned the meaning of several points in a draft of the medical marijuana ordinance. Vogler addressed the comments in a new draft presented to the commission Monday, but Tyll still found discrepancies between it and state law. Tyll said if the commission passed the language of the ordinance, it would put the city at legal risk.

"Eventually you will be sued. You have no authority to do what is written," he said.

City council member Deb Greene agreed with Tyll and cited advice she was given at a recent meeting of the Michigan Municipal League. In talking with the head of the state's planning and zoning ordinance organization, Greene said she learned that the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act does not "pinpoint" necessary specifics that cities need to write ordinances without the fear of being sued.

"I strongly advise not to pass anything about medical marijuana until the law is clear," she said.

The main change discussed by the commission to the ordinance draft made by Vogler addressed medical marijuana cultivation facilities. At the March meeting, the ordinance was unclear about the legal number of plants an authorized caregiver and medical marijuana cardholder is allowed to have at one time. The previous draft stated a cardholder could have up to five patients and grow 60 plants at one time, 12 plants for each patient. However, the number did not include the necessary 12 plants for the cardholder himself or herself. The new draft takes the caregiver's personal use of the plant into account. It states:

"Any parcel in the City of Rogers City where more than 60 marijuana plants are being grown or cultivated at any one time by a registered primary caregiver for the use of qualifying patients the primary caregiver has agreed to assist, shall be considered a marijuana cultivation facility and such is prohibited in the City of Rogers City."

Although Vogler said the ordinance deals with the use of land alone, because the ordinance zones medical marijuana caregivers' homes as home occupations, Tyll and Greene took issue with the language. Greene said the language, particularly that which discusses cultivation facilities, addressed amounts, not just land use.

The commission will ask the city council to extend the current moratorium so the ordinance can be further discussed and researched and to give the state more time to make changes to the MMMA. Commission Chairman Chuck Vogelheim said members are trying to act in a way that will best serve residents.

"What we're doing is trying to take care of the citizens of Rogers City, and that's what we're going to do tonight," Vogelheim said.

News Hawk- Jacob Husky 420 MAGAZINE
Source: pennlive.com
Author: Erika Fifelski
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: PennLive LLC
Website: Medical marijuana moratorium seeking extension
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