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Medical marijuana dispensaries pose a minimal risk to the city

This coming Tuesday (Oct. 30) there will be a town hall meeting on whether the city should allow medical marijuana dispensaries and growing operations to be allowed in Hamtramck.
Medical marijuana is legal in the state, but the federal government still considers it illegal. A half dozen states have also legalized the recreational use of marijuana.
So far, the federal government has not put a stop to this, but of course this could change.
We have previously advocated for allowing medical marijuana businesses to open up here.
The reason: It’s legal (in the state anyway), it’s been proven to truly help people with certain medical conditions, residents should be able to shop locally, and it’s a great tax revenue stream for the city.
Until just a few weeks there had barely been a word opposing this.
But at a recent city council meeting dozens of folks, from mostly the Bengali and Yemeni communities, came out strongly against allowing these businesses.
Because of that opposition, the city scheduled a town hall meeting, despite the fact that there had been one on this subject just a few months ago and there have been numerous discussions on the matter in city council meetings.
A lot of misinformation has been spread since then.
While we respect those who oppose this type of business, we still think it should be allowed.
Why?
Because it will be strictly controlled, contrary to what some folks have said. To even get a state license, one has to have over $300,000 in assets and basically no criminal record.
This will not be a mom and pop operation.
And no one is going to risk losing their license by selling marijuana illegally to kids or out the back door to others.
If voters agree this coming election on Nov. 6 to make recreational use of marijuana legal in Michigan, that doesn’t mean – as some claim – it will be sold like packs of cigarettes.
No matter how legal marijuana gets, it will be strictly regulated, licensed and zoned appropriately.
Will crime go up if we allow marijuana sales?
There is a lot of debate on this, and there are a lot of conflicting reports and studies on the subject.
Everything a city does is a calculated risk.
One thing we know for sure, Hamtramck has a limited stream of revenue.
There won’t be a marijuana shop on every corner. The proposed zoning law that the city council is considering will limit where these retail and growing operations can set up.
Fact is, only a handful will be allowed here.
And for those who have been insinuating that some elected officials and their buddies are in cahoots to monopolize this enterprise: that’s plain slander.
You can bet there will be many eyes looking at who gets licenses and who are the business partners.
Again, we are empathetic to those who are concerned about the impact on the community and particularly kids.
We are confident that this business will be tightly controlled and that there will be minimal consequences. And, this will also greatly help the city financially.
But that’s our opinion.
What do you think?

Oct. 26, 2018

2 Responses to Medical marijuana dispensaries pose a minimal risk to the city

  1. Gary Krantz

    October 27, 2018 at 8:00 pm

    The City of Ann Arbor had 21 medical marijuana dispensaries at one point and there seemed to be constant friction between these dispensaries and the Michigan State Police – who were trying to enforce their “guidelines” on owners via their interpretation of gray areas in the state law.

    The City Council in that city had repeated and heated debates on how to regulate these dispensaries and there were arguments that certain dispensary owners were being politically targeted by law enforcement due to their advocacy of legalized weed.

    In the event that Hamtramck City Council passes the proposed ordinance legislation – and that is likely to occur – they need to ensure that the application process is streamlined and that the proposed law easy to follow and understand – as well as being equitably enforced.

  2. John Dory

    October 28, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    A real question is who exactly shall regulate these proposed Hamtramck dispensaries?

    Will the ordinance create a public body to regulate local licensees?

    Will the local police be trained or have a special unit to inspect the licensees for compliance with state law and local requirements?

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