At this point, it appears city officials will vote down allowing medical marijuana dispensaries and grow facilities to operate here in Hamtramck.
Or, they may simply shelve the proposal that the city attorney and the administration have been working on for the past year – with the city council’s consent.
This is all because a portion of the city’s population – mostly the Bengali and Yemeni communities – is objecting to allowing this type of legal business to open up here.
They are objecting on the grounds that they fear children will gain access to legal medical marijuana and that the businesses will attract crime.
In our opinion, in light of what other communities have gone through, these objections are hogwash.
There is no question that people who need medical marijuana truly benefit from it. It’s not a matter of getting their kicks.
This is a serious issue, and it’s a shame it got hijacked by irrational fear and ignorance from a small sample of residents.
Some opponents, including Councilmember Saad Almasmari, wrongly assume that allowing dispensaries to open up will lead to one on every block. Again, this is nonsense.
The city’s proposed zoning restriction will allow no more than a handful. And you also have to consider the highly restrictive licensing requirements of the state.
Any would-be operator has to come up with a boatload of money to qualify for a license. That alone will severely limit who can get into this business. Basically, it’s rigged only for the very rich and corporations.
This isn’t going to be a party store-like operation.
And for those firmly against allowing these types of business to open within the Hamtramck borders — what happens if a dispensary opens up, say, on Conant but on the Detroit side, right next to Hamtramck?
Medical marijuana patients will be able to go there, but Hamtramck won’t collect a dime in tax revenue.
We have said before that Hamtramck medical marijuana users should be able to shop locally. Just like you can choose from any 20 or so local pharmacies here in town to fill your prescriptions – including for the biggest drug abused out there, opioids.
City officials who are reconsidering allowing medical marijuana businesses to open are likely feeling under a lot of pressure to back off. This is when we expect you to lead, despite whatever imagined political consequences you think will happen.
And besides, why did councilmembers who are now against dispensaries never raise an objection when the city administration was working on putting together an ordinance?
There was not one peep said against the ordinance. In fact, the council encouraged the administration to go ahead with the ordinances. Now, all of a sudden, they get a little pushback and they chicken out.
What a waste of time.
We can guarantee that when the two or three dispensaries open up here, nothing will happen. People will forget why they objected in the first place, and the issue will blow over.
Nov. 9, 2018