Residents share input on draft recommendations for medical marijuana facilities
Multiple residents spoke in favor of a special committee's draft recommendations to allow five types of medical marijuana production and growing facilities in Mount Pleasant.
The City’s Ad-Hoc Committee held a meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday at Town Hall. The intention was for the committee to review its recommendations with residents and listen to the input of the community, said city planner and liaison for the committee, Jacob Kaine.
The new law, which was signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in December, allows municipalities to adopt ordinances allowing for five categories of medical marijuana production and growing facilities. The new law does not take effect until Dec. 21.
Jim Moreno had mixed feelings on the subject, expressing his concerns with the senate's intention toward patients. Although he said he doesn't think the law was passed for the right reasons, Moreno emphasized the job opportunities that would come with the addition of medical marijuana facilities.
"It's quite obvious to me this is not about medical marijuana patients," he said. "It's about money-making schemes. Why would a medicine be taxed? No other medicine is taxed. I'm for this, although I can see a lot of glaring signals that (the law) is not about what it appears to be."
While majority of the residents openly supported the committee's recommendations, Diyonn Fahlman teared up while addressing her concerns with the community "making drugs the norm."
Despite the limit on the location of provision centers in proximity to K-12 schools, Fahlman said that limit won't prevent kids from "running the drug into schools."
"I understand that individuals who are in pain need something to ease that," she said. "Marijuana is an entry drug despite what you've been told. The people who made the law are now working for the drug industry. They are not in the streets. The pain that someone feels physically is nothing compared to seeing families destroyed."
Kara Kuntz concluded the public comment portion of the meeting by addressing the "lack of education" in the community about marijuana. She suggested that some of the profits should go back to educating the younger generations on the drug.
"It's unfortunate that people have to go out and try it illegally to see what (marijuana) is like because they're not told the honest truth about what cannabis is and what it can do for people," she said.
The committee meets again on Wednesday. The goal for the June 21 meeting is for the committee to have a formal report to present to the City Commission at its July 24 meeting.
Once the commissioners get the report, they will choose to follow it exactly to help draft an ordinance, or reject the recommendations and create their own guidelines for a draft ordinance. Commissioners will eventually have to vote on the ordinance they choose.