Lawsuit against township targets medical marijuana ordinances

Bloomfield Township has been slapped with a lawsuit over its medical marijuana ordinances.

On Tuesday, the Law Offices of Thomas M. Loeb, Esq. of Farmington Hills, and Neil Rockind, P.C. of Southfield, filed a joint law suit in the Oakland County Circuit Court against the township. The case, which will be heard by Judge Denise Langford-Morris, challenges the medical marijuana ordinance passed by the township in October.

“We filed the suit on behalf of two township residents who are impacted by the ordinances,” Rockind said Wednesday. “We think the township ordinances are not only unconstitutional, but they directly conflict with the state law that was passed by 63 percent of the people.”

According to the complaint, one of the ordinances requires qualifying patients and caregivers to register with the Bloomfield Township Police Department and provide protected and confidential information, including their name, home address, driver’s license number and date of birth.

Rockind said he intends to keep the two clients anonymous.

“That’s the whole point,” he said. “They shouldn’t have to provide their identity just because they’re trying to follow state law. We’re going to do everything to make sure their right to privacy is protected.”

A second ordinance adopted by the township prohibits the cultivation or distribution of medical marijuana by any registered patient or caregiver. According to the complaint, these two ordinances are in direct conflict with the Michigan law passed by voters in 2008.

“These people should have access to this medicine,” Loeb said in a statement issued to the public on Wednesday. “Michigan law gives them that right. Further, Michigan law protects these patients and caregivers from divulging protected and confidential information. These ordinances have taken away that confidentiality and anonymity, are entirely inconsistent with Michigan law, and should therefore be rendered unenforceable and void.”

Township officials were not available for comment on the lawsuit. The two law offices are planning to discuss the lawsuit in more detail at a press conference this afternoon at the Towers Watson Building in Southfield.

Earlier in the month, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a similar lawsuit against the cities of Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills and Livonia, claiming their ordinances addressing the medical marijuana issue conflict with state law.

via Home Town Life


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