Jan 11, 2018
Should the medical-marihuana issue be approved in Montcalm Township, citizens living there would find themselves to be the center of drug activity in Western Michigan. Kent County and townships there have said “no” to anything marihuana. The City of Wyoming even took their rejection to the Supreme Court. No wonder licensing dispensaries in Montcalm Township has their Planning Commission and Board in continuous turmoil for a year. Obviously, the pro-marihuana faction won’t give up. They are pulling resources and approaching more local governments for op-in positions
Then, information has been passed around to officials of the Township that Tim Rau, a Board member, is the source of suspicion that one or more of their officials has a financial stake in an opt-in. The rumor is flat-out false. That is relayed here due to the possibility raised in the Lakeview Area News, an issue thought to be settled.
Allowing you to be as informed on medical marihuana as possible has been the goal of these articles so you can decide whether medical marihuana should be legal in your community or not—based on fact rather than emotion, financial gain or previous prejudice. Your ultimate decision will be in the voting booth in the General Election.
However, another development may be the ultimate setback for marihuana promoters. The Obama Administration used an executive order that commanded the Attorney General’s office to not challenge state laws to allow use of pot for recreational or medical reasons. A new decision to cancel those “hands-off” instructions and allow AG Jeff Session to enforce Federal Law is happening just as California has given the “go-ahead” to smoke all you want, supposedly legally. Now, most likely, eight states will be facing Federal action. Plus, 29-states, including Michigan, have blessed marihuana for medical purposes, going around Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scrutiny.
Sessions released a statement making it clear, “It is the mission of the Department of Justice to enforce the Laws of the United States, and the previous issuance of guidance [by Obama] undermines the rule of law and the ability of our local, state, tribal and federal law enforcement partners to carry out this mission. Therefore, today’s memo on federal marihuana enforcement simply directs all U.S. attorneys to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country.”
Even if Congress tried to reverse Federal Law, a question is raised about whether President Trump would sign such legislation. He has made his stand clear during the election that he was leaving Obama’s decision alone.
Should Montcalm Township opt in, a legal challenge by the Feds might happen if they refuse to follow Federal Law. Their delay with a decision may have saved them serious legal fees and thousands in lost money from license denials, and those submitting fees with applications.
Information out of Lansing is that the Michigan Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, supported by LARA, will continue accepting and processing applications for operating licenses. Every license application comes with a letter that the applicant must sign, acknowledging that the $6,000 fee is nonrefundable, and that they understand the risk of starting a business in conflict with Federal Law. If an application is made but rejected by the state, half of the fee is refunded. We are told that 80-applications have been submitted.
Until they hear from either Michigan State Police or Federal agencies, township residents are sounding off—some for and some against. In a letter dated December 29, addressed to members of the Montcalm Township Planning Commission and Board, the author wrote that “there is no deadline as to when this ordinance has to be completed,” which is in reference to an “opt in.”
The letter, written by resident Norma Sower, expresses her opinion that even if recreational use of marihuana is not legalized in the state in November 2018, that the issues will keep coming until voters give up (to paraphrase). Then, she proposes a Montcalm Prevention Collaborative to educate and discourage youth from using.
As passionate and well written as the letter is, it may be that any positive pronouncement on marihuana of any kind, may be short lived, if the Feds have anything to do with it.
While pulling research information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the numbers of students using marihuana for the first time, before age 13, is alarming. This is a time when pot assaults the brain, lowering IQ and cognitive skills. Should “pot” be legalized in Michigan, a major campaign to convince people under 21 they should not use is very important to the intelligence of the next generation.
The Montcalm Township meeting where marihuana will be discussed again is Wednesday evening at 7:00, too late for our deadline for the January 11th issue. Other publications will report on the meeting, yet more information will be relayed in this column. Stanton’s Council met Tuesday evening to consider and opt-in. We will bring details to you.