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  1. chillinwill
    Allowing medical marijuana sales from the homes of those who grow is preferable to allowing stand-alone marijuana dispensaries, City Planning Director Suzanne Schulz said Thursday.

    "We are going to have people doing it anyway," Schultz told the city's Planning Commission.

    The commission tabled the matter, vowing to discuss it next month despite several members who said they were aghast at the prospect of allowing marijuana distribution in neighborhoods.

    "Obviously it's an emotional issue," Commission Vice Chairman Paul Potter said.

    "We have to educate ourselves or we will make a decision that is not fact-based."

    Schulz said her proposal to allow home distribution would allow the city to outlaw larger dispensaries that could cause problems.

    State law approved last year allows distribution by state-licensed caregivers who are limited to five patients each. Caregivers are allowed to raise 12 marijuana plants for each one of their patients.

    Not allowing home distribution would open the city to accusations it was illegally outlawing a legitimate business, Schulz said.

    The state law allows licensed caregivers to supply marijuana to patients who get recommendations from medical doctors for a handful of diseases such as AIDs, chemotherapy reactions and seizures.

    To date, the state has issued 6,125 medical marijuana patient registrations and has registered 2,572 caregivers, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health.

    The ordinance proposed by Schulz also would allow distribution from pharmacies, medical clinics or doctors' offices.

    Although pharmacists and doctors are barred from distributing marijuana by federal law, Schulz said the ordinance would allow caregivers to use their facilities for distribution.

    The ordinance also could accommodate possible changes in federal law, she said.

    The Grand Rapids Police Department is opposed to having marijuana dispensaries in residential neighborhoods, Sgt. Holly Botts said.

    But complying with the law will be difficult for police because they won't be able to determine which marijuana distributors are legitimate, said Botts, who works in the vice unit.

    "The law is very gray," she said. "Trust me, every agency in the state is encountering things they don't have answers for.

    Botts said most police agencies are basing their concern on California's 12 years of experience with legalized medical marijuana.

    "They have an ungodly number of dispensaries," she said.

    "Our concern is getting a grip on it before it gets out of control."

    Olon Tucker, owner of the Medical Marijuana Learning Center, told commissioners he wants to create a business educating caregivers and patients.

    Limiting medical marijuana to pharmacies and clinical settings would deny business opportunities in what has become a billion-dollar industry in California, he said.

    Jim Harger
    December 10, 2009
    Mlive
    http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2009/12/grand_rapids_official_allowing.html

Comments

  1. dyingtomorrow
    I really hope this leads to a revolution in our pharmaceutical drug laws. The way it appears they are going to treat marijuana is obviously completely inconsistent with medical drug regulations. If people "authorized" with pain issues can grow marijuana, why can't they grow poppy and make poppy tea instead? Or opium, or morphine for themselves? Gee, looks like we don't really need the FDA that badly after all, since they seem to be admitting it's okay for people to grow their own unregulated marijuana. Who would have guessed?

    They really need to break the monopolistic, incredibly harmful stranglehold of Big Pharma over American health and our Civil Rights. It's great that the FDA does quality control on food, but we don't need them telling us, with coercive power, what we cannot put in our body, and what ways we are not allowed to do it. The worst is the fact that we are denied cheaper drugs from other counties, many of which are regulated by their own governments with higher standards than our own.

    That is a crime of the worst order against 300 million Americans. The FDA should be a stamp of approval that people can CHOOSE to base their medical and purchasing decisions on. It should not be a fucking dictatorship with power over the body of every single American citizen.
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