Putting DEA on the defensive
Court case puts marijuana prohibition on the stand
Published: August 8, 2012
No one knows how this will end. The DEA has been whacking away at large California dispensaries in seeming contradiction to President Obama's promise to not prosecute facilities operating within state laws that permit medical marijuana. It almost seems that from a federal point of view it's OK to have a small operation, but once any big money starts flowing they will cut you down.
Here in Michigan, things are looking better for medical marijuana patients, with a recent Courts of Appeals ruling that the city of Wyoming could not ban medical marijuana facilities by claiming they are contrary to federal law. Judges Joel Hoekstra, Douglas Shapiro and William Whitbeck, the Kent County appeals court panel in this case, voted unanimously against Wyoming's medical marijuana ban. They also ruled that municipal law does not trump state law. The city of Wyoming could appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court, although it's not clear if it will. This decision has potential to ripple across the state because a number of municipalities have avoided the issue by declaring moratoriums on medical marijuana facilities.
This ruling has nothing to do with whether there can be marijuana dispensaries in the state. The definitive answer on dispensaries will come when the state high court rules on People vs. McQueen, involving a Mount Pleasant medical marijuana dispensary. Then we will know if medical marijuana patients can not only have their medicine, but will they be able to buy it somewhere.
Larry Gabriel is a writer, musician and former editor of Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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