LANSING, Mich. (WZZM) — The State Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday in a West Michigan case that will decide if all communities can restrict medical marijuana.
Michigan voters approved the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act in 2008 but the City of Wyoming created a strict ordinance to regulate it.
Justices heard opening arguments Thursday from the City of Wyoming and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.
The city of Wyoming argues, since the medical marijuana law violates federal law, the city has a right to restrict it.
Right now, a zoning ordinance is in place, but the court repeatedly questioned Wyoming City Attorney Jack Sluiter why zoning was any different than a ban.
“We are not trying to ban medical marijuana use by citizens, we are attempting to regulate the cultivation of the growing, distribution, of marijuana in the city of Wyoming,” Sluiter told reporters.
“We want to eliminate the issues we’ve already had with crime involved in people growing marijuana, in their basements, we’ve had break-ins, home invasions, theft involving medical marijuana.
We’ve had fires involving medical marijuana because people are using grow lights and other things that are catching electrical systems and properties.”
“If the public is at risk, I think the court was very clear today that local authorities and state authorities can take measures to safeguard to public risk,” said American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan attorney Daniel Korobkin.
“They’re trying to nullify the Medical Marijuana Act within their city, and if they succeed there will be lots of cities that will try to do that but that’s for the same reason the people of Michigan had to go to the polls.
“I thought Wyoming had a really big hill to climb and I don’t think they climbed it,” said David Overholt, a local medical marijuana advocate who joined others in the courtroom. He will go before the justices down the road.
The court has until July to issue a ruling in the case.
via ABC News