Michigan citizens voted to legalize Medical Marijuana in 2008. The majority of citizens in every county in the entire state citizens 50% or more of voters said YES to Proposal 1. Now, cities and communities across the state are trying to stop patients from being able to find quality medication in a safe retail environment. The moratorium against medical marijuana facilities which many cities are placing on medical marijuana businesses happens because some people have found this is a way to deny the voters’ their rights. By placing moratoriums these cities are stopping patients from having access to a safe location to purchase their medicine.
Every citizen uses local pharmacies because they want to purchase a quality product in a safe environment. Opponents of legalized medical marijuana are using these moratoriums as a way to prevent patients from obtaining the medicine they need in a safe retail environment. I have heard all kinds of unrealistic reasons for these moratoriums. The one that upsets me most is when people say we don’t want these businesses in our community because they associate medical marijuana patients with criminals, degenerates, and other horrible terms. Most patients are well educated and have serious illnesses.
It seems cities across the state are divided. There are cities which have placed moratoriums and cities who are working with the patients, caregivers, and all advocates to help create a safe environment for patients. In Washtenaw Co. and specifically the city of Ann Arbor the city council and planning commission have taken a stance which we believe is patient friendly. They are requiring patient care faculties operate with common sense and they are working to give the voters what they want. Cities reviewing options for medical marijuana facilities rather than pushing moratoriums include Ann Arbor, Dearborn Heights, and Traverse City; much less than the number of cities imposing moratoriums.
In other cities the local governing authorities are doing everything in their power to scare patients, instill fear in the community, and insight people to view patients as a lower class of citizen unworthy of being seen in public. Cities imposing moratoriums are large in numbers, which many attribute to a lack of willingness to accept voters’ wishes; they include cities such as Marine City, Chelsea, Livonia, Royal Oak, Grand Rapids, Saginaw, Flint, Emmett County and Kalkaska.
They want patients to hide in a black market culture and die in this underground world; because they need medicine. Moratoriums force patients into an impossible situation where they are forced to deal with people caring for only a few patients rather than reliable businesses with regulations and standards. It is not ok to turn our backs on patients after legalizing medical marijuana. It seems Proposal 1 was only Step 1; advocates will have to continue to meet with the city councils, planning commission, and any legislative or executive group willing to learn and understand the truth of medical marijuana. Government officials are needed on the side of patients.