County shares Medical Marijuana Law survey

Oakland County is working to share information surrounding Michigan's Medical Marijuana Law with local cities, villages and townships. At the direction of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, the county's Office of Corporation Counsel conducted a survey and analysis of various local approaches to address the new law and is sharing the information with every community in Oakland County.

"The general consensus is that the Medical Marijuana Law leaves much to be desired as the law and implementing regulations do not describe how marijuana will be lawfully dispensed," wrote Corporation Counsel Judith Cunningham in the memorandum sent to local officials. "The uncertainty involved in this topic is compounded by the fact that it remains a violation of federal law to distribute or sell marijuana."

Corporation Counsel discovered that communities in Oakland County and elsewhere are taking one of three approaches:

--Adopting a moratorium to study the issue. (This is the approach currently adopted by Auburn Hills, Bloomfield Township, Royal Oak and Southfield; as well as Grand Rapids and Traverse City, among others.)

--Regulating the issue through local zoning ordinances and/or the issuance of permits. (This is the approach taken by Ferndale and Huntington Woods; as well as Roseville, Garden City and Niles.)

--Attempting to ban medical marijuana to the extent possible. (This is the approach taken by Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills; as well as Livonia.)

Patterson emphasized that it is up to each municipality to decide the appropriate approach for its jurisdiction. "I believe it is up to the residents of each community to set the standards under which they will live. Oakland County, however, will use its role as a leader among governments to summarize the choices under the Medical Marijuana Law."

Oakland County has been inundated with requests from around Michigan for its Medical Marijuana Law survey. In response, Patterson is making it available online.

"We are hearing from municipalities and many attorneys from all over Michigan," said Patterson. "This information is valuable enough to share with anyone who wishes to view it."

In order to view the Medical Marijuana Law survey compiled by the Oakland County Corporation Counsel, navigate to http://www.oakgov.com/services_index/government/cvt_services.html.

Published: Mon, Aug 16, 2010