Authority figures seemingly love to use the word “pot” rather than marijuana because to them it signifies something dirty, something dangerous. A drug that belongs in the gutters of society and at the centerpiece of shady drug deals, not in the hands of patients with debilitating illnesses who find relief in the leafy, green plant. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette was happy to use the marijuana alternate a day after medical marijuana dispensaries were declared illegal by the state Court of Appeals. “These pot shops need to be closed down,” he proclaimed. “This ruling is a huge victory for public safety and Michigan communities struggling with an invasion of pot shops near their schools, homes and churches.”
Law enforcement will be given the ‘tools’ they need in order to start closing down the 400-500 marijuana clinics throughout Michigan, Schuette said. “Nobody voted to have pot shops across from schools and churches,” he went on to say. “The court of appeals unanimously cleared the air that these dispensaries, these pot shops – really drug houses – are not legal.”
So where does this leave the hundreds of people who have invested everything they have into opening a new dispensary? What about the 100,000 or so people with state-issued medical marijuana cards that rely on dispensaries for their medicine?
Fortunately, in some areas, a county-wide eviction and complete termination of all dispensaries is not that simple. City officials have drafted ordinances to license dispensaries that allowed them to operate, giving them the impression that they were doing so legally. This creates somewhat of a sticky situation, as county prosecutors don’t want to hang medical marijuana patients out to dry when they were under the impression that they were creating a legal business relationship with their local dispensary.
Additionally, some lawyers think that the ruling is merely political. Dispensaries could remain open for business regardless of the court’s ruling, according to Royal Oak Attorney James Rasor. He believes that the Court of Appeals “kind of missed the point”, and that the ruling “does nothing but impermissibly infringe on the rights of the voters.”
What happens in the weeks ahead will go a long way in defining what kind of future medical marijuana will have in the state of Michigan. It’s hard to see the logic in sending ill patients to the streets and stranger’s homes to get their medicine.
If you have been charged with a crime related to medical marijuana contact Daniel Ambrose 248-808-3130 or at www.marijuanlawyermichigan.com