Medical marijuana proponents to rally in Royal Oak tonight
Medical marijuana advocates are planning a demonstration outside Royal Oak City Hall at 6:30 tonight to object to the city’s expected ban on medical marijuana, organizer Greg Pawlowski said.
“Royal Oak is going to prevent people from raising any marijuana or even taking their medicine at home,” Pawlowski, 37, of Mt. Clemens said. He said he operates a compassion club in Detroit called Patient Caregiver Connection with about 200 members, and that he had contacted all of them as well as members of compassion clubs in Royal Oak, Birmingham, Macomb County and Downriver to ask them to join him tonight outside city hall at 300 E. Williams in downtown Royal Oak.
Last month, the city’s seven-member elected City Commission voted 4-3 to pass on first reading a land-use ordinance pushed by Commissioner Chuck Semchena, the former Royal Oak city attorney and a staunch opponent of what he said is the widespread substance abuse and threat to children posed by medical marijuana in Michigan. If the ordinance passed tonight, it would go into effect in 10 days, city officials said. Its effect would be to make medical-marijuana cultivation, distribution and even use by state-approved patients illegal anywhere in the city, Semchena said today.
“There’s about 12 other cities that already passed an ordinance like this” to prohibit “all land uses that are illegal under federal law,” he said. According to Michigan Townships Association, the following have similar ordinances: Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Canton Township, Howell, Livonia, Madison Heights, Northville, Plymouth, Saline and Westland. Although 72% of Royal Oak voters supported the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act when it passed on a statewide ballot in November 2008, Semchena said, “People voted with compassion in their hearts for medical marijuana,” but the state law is untenable and can’t enforced.
“Right now, we’ve got individuals allowed to grow 12 Christmas-tree-sized plants at a time, and you can harvest that four times a year, so there’s way too much marijuana available for one caregiver. That number of plants can produce 25,000 marijuana cigarettes per year, with a street value of up to $150,000,” according to Royal Oak Police Chief Christoper Jahnke.
“Invariably, this is going to end up in the hands of teenagers,” Semchena said.
But Royal Oak Mayor Jim Ellison voted against the proposed ordinance last month.
City Commissioner Jim Rasor, who also opposed the proposal, said today, “This isn’t about marijuana anymore. It’s about people’s right to have their government respect their wishes,” as expressed in the 2008 statewide vote to allow medical marijuana.
Rasor said the city, by banning all medical marijuana use through an ordinance that simply says all federal laws are to be enforced, and then specifically banning activities with it in commercial districts, would push use and cultivation into secrecy and into residential homes — “the opposite of what we should be doing.”
Neil Rockind, P.C. is leading the way in Michigan Medical Marijuana Defense. If you or a loved one is faced with a violation of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, or an investigation by any policing agency regarding such a violation, please contact Neil Rockind, P.C. at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office directly at 248-208-3800 to schedule a free consultation!