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Medical Marijuana Ordinance Survives First Round in Holland Township

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Holland Township, MI –Patient Solutions 420 was denied in its first attempt to overturn a Holland Township ordinance banning medical marijuana dispensaries, but the representatives of the dispensary say the fight has just begun.

Ottawa County Circuit Judge Jon Hulsing on Friday denied Patient Solutions 420's request for an injunction to halt two ordinances passed by the township on May 19 that make medical marijuana dispensaries illegal in Holland Township. Hulsing ordered the issue set aside for trial within six months.

"What (Patient Solutions 420's attorney) Mr. Grow is asking this court to do is invalidate a unit of government that wishes to comply with federal law, and I'm not in the position to do that at this point and time," he said. "It's questionable whether there was a violation, or whether action taken on May 19 was done properly. The ordinance may very well be valid. The court is not prepared to make a judgment at this juncture."

Patient Solutions alleges the Holland Township board and its trustees violated the Michigan Open Meetings Act on March 3 when it discussed medical marijuana in board chambers after the regular board meeting had adjourned. The dispensary asked that the action resulting from the alleged violation, namely the passing of the two ordinances, be voided.

Holland Township Supervisor Terry Nienhuis, who is named in the suit, denies the Open Meetings Act violation.

The township's attorney, Craig Noland, argued Friday that no violation took place because no action was taken at the time.

"There has been nothing offered that would warrant the extraordinary issuance of a preliminary injunction to stop the ordinance," Noland said. "Whatever discussion or chit-chat were done after the meeting, they were not done in secret. They did not leave the chambers."

Patient Solutions 420 plans to pursue the Open Meetings Act violation through the trial process, and is fighting the township on other fronts as well.

Representative Monica Bakker said the dispensary has filed two seperate notices of petition with the township, announcing its plan to put on the November ballot a public vote on overturning the ordinances. Patient Solutions 420 has until June 26 to present at least 1,267 signatures for each ordinance, which would bring the issue to the voters.

Until that time, the townships' zoning ordinance amendment banning medical marijuana dispensaries is on hold, while the ordinance regarding licensing of medical marijuana caregivers went into effect June 5.

The licensing ordinance limits medical marijuana growth, use and distribution primarily to residents and makes dispensaries illegal.

Bakker said if both actions fail, Patient Solutions 420 is gearing up for a recall drive to remove six of seven board members from office.


News Hawk- Jacob Ebel 420 MAGAZINE
Source: hollandsentinel.com
Author: Gary Brower
Contact: Contact Us
Copyright: GateHouse Media, Inc.
Website: Medical marijuana ordinance survives first round in Holland Township, battle continues
 
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