Neil Rockind of the criminal defense firm in Southfield, Michigan, Neil Rockind, P.C., is frustrated and angered by the approach being taken by municipalities and townships regarding medical marijuana. After the Court of Appeals struck down an ordinance in the City of Wyoming and denied the City’s attempt to invalidate the medical marijuana act, Rockind was optimistic that townships would eliminate their anti-medical marijuana ordinances. It turns out, Rockind was being too charitable.
In an article that appeared in today’s news, a township in Macomb County said that they are not going to elim
Macomb Reinstates Medical Marijuana Moratorium, Prepares Permanent Ordinance
The moratorium, which prohibits the issuance of any permits, licenses or approvals for the sale or dispensation of medical marijuana within Macomb Township limits, will be in place for the next 120 days.
By Jenny Whalen Email the author 6:00 am
Medical marijuana is one business the Macomb board of trustees doesn’t plan to welcome into the township in the near future.
The board passed a moratorium Wednesday to suspend the issuance of any permits, licenses or approvals for the sale or dispensation of medical marijuana within township limits for the next 120 days. By the time this moratorium expires, the board expects to have a permanent ordinance in place.
The township’s previous ordinance was struck down by a July 31 Michigan Court of Appeals decision that ruled any municipal ordinances prohibiting medical marijuana based on the fact that federal law prohibits the use and or possession of marijuana are now void and unenforceable.
“A city ordinance that purports to prohibit what a state statute permits is void,” the opinion reads, meaning that the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act cannot be preempted by the Federal Controlled Substances Act.
As a result, Macomb Township and other municipalities across the state must now redraft their ordinances.
“We’re going to have to accommodate (the language of the ruling) but put restrictions that meet the concerns of the community,” said Macomb Township Clerk Michael Koehs. “That may include amendments to our zoning ordinance, but that’s why it has to be reviewed by legal counsel.”
While the moratorium is in place, the township will not be able to consider any requests to establish a medical marijuana business in Macomb.
The township passed its first medical marijuana moratorium in April 2011 and extended it in November 2011.
Rockind says, “Just follow the law — it is that simple.” Unfortunately, the townships appear to be looking for more ways to get around it.