TUSCOLA COUNTY — National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Tuscola County Executive Director, Bob Wood, thinks the county should take a look at how Traverse City and Ann Arbor drew up their ordinances for marijuana dispensaries.
According to Wood, the cities met with medical marijuana patients when they created their ordinances for the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA).
“They worked together to come up with something that was safe and worked for both sides,” said Wood.
“People need a safe way to get their medicine.”
He added the two cities allowed for what are called “collectives,” which are shops where medical marijuana card holders meet to trade seeds and plants.
The issue of medical marijuana has become a hot topic in Tuscola County following the December arrival of the Blue Water Compassion Center, a dispensary located in Richville.
Tuscola County Prosecutor Mark Reene is asking residents to educate themselves and make sure they are within the full requirements of the law.
He said the conflict between state and federal law is one of the main causes of confusion with the MMMA, as medical marijuana is still illegal at the federal level.
Reene added there have been many changes to federal law within the last few years because of the adaptations to state laws.
“My concern is that people approach it in the right manner, and certainly not drive around under the influence,” said Reene.
“There (have) been a lot of lawsuits. The bill itself is not a model of clarity, and it is something that will have to work itself out in the judicial system.”
The MMMA was passed by voters in 2008, and many areas in Tuscola County still have not developed ordinances dealing with dispensaries.
Wood also brought up how former California governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger decriminalized the drug in California during his final days in office. The NORML director said the change is generating big bucks, and is a stark contrast to how marijuana offenders are treated in Tuscola County, adding that a second offense for marijuana is landing offenders in jail for 120 days.
“The drug war is a failure,” exclaimed Wood. “They are over- filling jails. Tuscola County is wasting tax dollars.”
He added that even with medical marijuana legal in Michigan, card holders are keeping a low profile out of fear of prosecution.
“In Tuscola County, the police are robbing people and stealing their assets,” said Wood.
“There’s going to be plenty of lawsuits until this is all straightened out.”
Wood went on to say that the best option is to legalize the drug altogether, taking money away from drug cartels and increase education on the topic.
“Legalize it, regulate it and tax it,” said Wood.
via : Tuscola Today
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