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October 14, 2010 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-10-14

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 5A

A2 council approved Policy experts at event: War on

ordinance last week
to regulate medical
pot dispensaries

Drugs unduly hurts minorities

From Page 1A
violation of federal law.
Until President Barack Obama
took office, Meno said "the fed-
eral government was openly hos-
tile to state marijuana laws" and
"there was always a hesitancy by
state governments to become too
involved in medical marijuana
The next logical step for Michi-
gan would be to pass statewide
regulations that make it "very
clear" what the law would allow
for dispensaries, Meno said.
In the meantime, local munici-
palities around the state have had
to individually decide what to do
about dispensaries. Some have
outright prohibited them. Others,
like Traverse City, have passed
ordinances to regulate dispensa-
ries, and some city councils have
put temporary moratoriums on
them while city officials decide
how to proceed.
In August, the Ann Arbor City
Council voted in favor of a 120-
day moratorium on new dispensa-
ries. Businesses that had already
opened - including MedMar Com-
passionate Healthcare on Packard
Road, the Liberty Clinic on Main
Street, the Ann Arbor Health Col-
lective on Stadium Boulevard and
Green Planet Patient Collective on
the corner of Tappan Avenue and
Monroe Street - were permitted
to remain open.
In defending the moratorium,
City Attorney Stephen Postema
said the city council needed time
to figure out zoning and regulation
issues for dispensaries. He warned
of the proliferation of too many
unregulated businesses, which
caused problems in some cities in
The Los Angeles Times report-
ed in May that city prosecutors
were in the process of notifying
439 dispensaries in Los Angeles
that they would need to shut down
before June 7 - when the city's
new ordinance to regulate dispen-
saries would go into effect. In 2007,
after 187 dispensaries had already
opened in Los Angeles, the city
put a moratorium on new dispen-
saries. The city failed to enforce
the ban, and Los Angeles became
the "epicenter of the state's dis-
pensary boom," according to the
L.A. Times. Last month, the L.A.
city clerk announced that only
one quarter of the 169 dispensa-
ries that were allowed to stay open
during the moratorium followed
the proper procedures, meaning
that the rest of the dispensaries
will have to be shut down.
Last week, Ann Arbor's City
Planning Commission unani-
mously voted in favor of a new
ordinance to regulate medical
marijuana dispensaries, AnnAr-
bor.com reported. Some of the
rules detailed in the four-page
document include no dispensa-
ries located within 1,000 feet of
schools, no drive-in dispensaries,
no smoking, inhalation or con-
sumption of medical marijuana on
premises and no minors allowed
on premises without a parent or
The ordinance also sets rules
for caregivers who cultivate in
their own homes. "Home occupa-
tions" cannot conduct more than
10 business-related vehicle trips
- five roundtrips - per day, and
no medicine transfers are permit-
ted in home occupations except to
residents of the dwelling.

The ordinance, which the Plan-
ning Commission has been work-
ing on for the past two months,
will now go before City Council.
Mike McLeod, one of the
founders of the Ann Arbor Medi-
cal Marijuana Patient Collec-
tive (A2M2PC) - which acts as a
source of information about medi-

cal marijuana - said the "logi-
cal choice" is for patients to grow
plants for themselves, but for the
majority of people that simply
won't work. Growing marijuana is
difficult, he said, because it takes
space, money and patience. He
added that marijuana's illegality
under federal law and the stigma
associated with growing the drug
also serve as major deterrents for
some patients.
Having a caregiver is not always
a successful alternative either,
McLeod said.
"(The caregiver system) is a
good concept, but in reality, there
are a lot of problems with it. The
reason being people are people,"
he said. "Many of them I'm sure
are well-intended ... but most of
them aren't that successful at it."
Growing the plants takes a min-
imum of three months, according
to McLeod. Sometimes the crop
dies, and sometimes the care-
giver distributes the marijuana
too quickly - leaving the patient
without medicine until the next
crop is ready. McLeod said some
patients even have trouble just
getting in touch with their care-
givers because they don't respond
to calls.
Dennis Hayes, another founder
of the A2M2PC and a lawyer who
specializes in medical marijuana
legislation, said ifa large group of
patients - like cancer patients -
started widely using marijuana, it
would place too large of a burden
on the current patient-caregiver
system. A significant increase in
the number of patients would cre-
ate a need for some kind of mass
production of marijuana, he said.
That need was already appar-
ent at the July meeting of the
A2M2PC, which does not allow
the transfer of medicine at its
meetings. The question on every-
one's mind at the meeting was
whether there are dispensaries in
McLeod said the businesses
that have opened in Ann Arbor are
better described as "collectives"
rather than "dispensaries." He
explained that people are mem-
bers of collectives, and they are
places where patients and care-
givers can go to share resources.
These collectives are a product
of the "natural market" that has
developed because of patients
wanting to sample different
strains of marijuana - something
that is difficult to do with a single
caregiver, McLeod said.
Several Ann Arbor collec-
tives have a waiting area for the
patients where they check in and
verify that they are registered
patients and members of the col-
lective. When it's their turn, they
are taken to a separate room to
purchase their medicine from
the "bud tender" - the person in
charge of selling the various prod-
ucts offered at each collective.
McLeod estimated that 24 col-
lectives currently exist in Ann
Arbor, but most ofthem are private
and invitation-only. Those that
function in secret, he said, choose
to do so because of the question-
able legality of their existence.
When city council members
voted on thesmoratorium in
August, they asked Ann Arbor
Police Chief Barnett Jones if there
had been any issues with existing
collectives. At the time, Jones said
the police had received no com-

Since then, there has been one
reported robbery at a local col-
lective. On Sept. 30, at least three
people carrying guns stole money
and marijuana from the Liberty
Clinic on Main Street after bind-
ing the employees with duct tape,
according AnnArbor.com. Three
men were charged in the robbery
earlier this month.

Oneprof. saysin9
African American
males are arrested for
drug-related crimes
Daily StaffReporter
Students for Sensible Drug Pol-
icy hosted a panel last night in an
effort to call attention to dispro-
portionate effects of the United
States's War on Drugs on minor-
ity groups.
The panel last night featured
several drug policy and law
enforcement experts who talked
about current United States drug
policies and possible solutions for
the violence surrounding drug-
related crimes. About 50 students
attended the panel called "Minor-
ity Oppression Aggravated by the
War on Drugs" that was held in
the Hussey Room of the Michigan
Jenali Jefferson, a visiting pro-
fessor from the University of Kan-
sas School of Law, discussed how
African Americans and Hispanics
are unfairly hurt by the War on
"Blacks are only 24 percent
of the defenders in drug-related
cases, but they are 35 percent of
those convicted under mandatory
minimum sentences," Jefferson
Jefferson added that in their
lifetime, I5in 9 African American
males are arrested for drug-relat-
ed crimes.
University Law Prof. Sam
Gross explained that the reason
for this imbalance in racial rep-
resentation in prisons due to drug
crimes is because of how police
From Page 1A
rule, and to make students aware
of what to look for in case it is vio-
The events include a lecture by
Travis Apgar, who speaks nation-
ally about his negative experience
with hazing when he was in col-
lege. Other events throughout the
week include round-table discrs-
sions and booths on the Diag.
The round tables provide an
opportunity for executive board
members of the four councils to
talk to their respective new mem-
bers, answer any questions and
explain what to expect during
their first semester in a Greek-let-
ter organization, Clark said. Each
set of round tables is specifically
tailored to address issues seen in
each council, she said.
"What we try to do is make all
the material specific to the mem-
bers," Clark said. "In the past
we've had great information but it
wasn't tailored to each individual
Many have told horror stories
of physical and emotional abuse
- many times involving alcohol
consumption - and these stories
have become a stigma for those
considering joining the Greek
community, Clark said. Being able

Panelists discuss the War on Drugs at the Students for Sensible Drug Policy event yesterday.

are trained to look for drug crimi-
"When someone is driving by
on the highway, what can you
identify about them? The make
of their car, ... a license plate,
and ... maybe the driver's race,"
Gross said. "And that's how police
choose who to search."
Matt Lassiter, an associate pro-
fessor of history and urban and
regional planning at the Univer-
sity, said some scholars and policy
makers argue that the War on
Drugs is less of a reaction to con-
cern over drug-related crime and
more of a continuation of racist
"There actually is a debate on
whether or not the War on Drugs
should be considered a 'frontlash'
to address and answer questions
about these issues is essential for
new members, she said.
For sororities, hazing tends to
be more focused on emotional
abuse, whereas fraternity hazing
typically involves physical abuse
or forced binge drinking, she
Business senior Blake Toll,
executive vice president of the
IFC, said the idea behind the
week is to educate new members
on what to expect after they're
extended bids to join the fraterni-
ties and what shouldn't be toler-
IFC's official recruitment
ended last week, and the timing
of Hazing Prevention Week is
specifically designed to help new
members deal with their pledge
periods, which vary depending on
the organization and council, Toll
"We give (the new members) a
lay of the land, let them know what
they can expect, how they can
voice their opinions and concerns
and let them discuss any topics
they are curious about," he said.
Toll added that the round tables
are beneficial to new members
since they allow them to speak
with upperclassmen who are vet-
erans of the system and get some
insider knowledge on what might
take place during the upcoming

instead of a backlash as the last
remnant of segregation and the
era of Jim Crow," Lassiter said.
The panelists agreed that the
War on Drugs has not only been
unfair and especially harsh on
minorities, but that it also is
extremely expensive and a large
pressure on federal and state bud-
Lassiter talked about how pros-
ecuting and jailing perpetrators
of drug crimes takes up a signifi-
cant portion of government bud-
"The state of California spends
more on incarceration than high-
er education." Lassiter said. "And
(the United States) has more peo-
ple in prisons for drug-related
crimes than the European Union
The talk Apgar gave Monday
night was about his experiences
with hazing, including manda-
tory excessive drinking and other
physical abuses and the effects
he suffered as a result. According
to CampusSpeak.com, Apgar, the
associate dean of students at Itha-
ca College, had such an upsetting
experience with hazing during his
first semester in college that he
dropped out of school.
"We can say what we want
about what happens across the
country in regards to hazing, but
since it hasn't happened at U of M,
it's hard to believe its true," Clark
said. "That's why we thought
bringing someone to talk about it
is so important. It's beneficial to
see a person who has gone through
this to make people understand
that this does happen."
Business senior Sanjiv Rao,
president of the MGC, said the
main reason for the council's
involvement in the events is to
bring awareness not just to stu-
dents but to the Ann Arbor com-
munity as well.
"We want to show them that we
are aware and the next step is to
educate people, and from there we
enforce it," Rao said.
He added that this week serves
as a reminder for MGC organiza-
tions that the council enforces a

does as a whole, and they have 100
million more people than we do."
Cliff Thornton, an expert on
drug policy and a leader of the
Green Party, added that the way
law enforcement approaches
drug crimes is also damaging to
those arrested for drug-related
"In 2005, the criminal justice
system changed the way they were
reporting these crimes. In some
cases, almost 80 percent of the
people there were there for drug-
related crimes," Thornton said.
"So you have the prostitute who is
selling herself for drugs, and you
have the cop who is there for the
prostitution, and the cop who is
there for the drugs, and they'll be
fighting over her. It's insane."
no-hazing policy, Rao said.
Engineering freshman Kevin
Michaud, a new member of Sigma
Phi Epsilon, said Apgar's speech
was motivational and changed his
views on hazing. He said it showed
him how various forms of hazing
can have dire consequences.
"I didn't realize that hazing
was so many different things,"
Michaud said. "I just kinda
thought it was physical things but
it's emotional things as well."
LSA sophomore Jenna
Kaufman-Ross, who joined Pi
Beta Phi last year, said this week's
events are important because they
provide a lot of useful information
to new members of the Greek-let-
ter community.
"The dangers of hazing aren't
always expressed," Kaufman-Ross
said. "There are certain images
and stereotypes of Greek Life that
new members might have going
into college. They might not know
what to do if they are put into a
hazing situation or what measures
they should take."
Kaufman-Ross went to the anti-
hazing education events last year
and said they helped her under-
stand the consequences of hazing *
and the precautions that should
be taken. She said the events are
"completely necessary and rele-
vant" to the students who partici-
pate in Greek Life.

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