Monday, August 9, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
From Page 1
added to the agenda at 5 p.m. the pre-
vious night, leaving little time for the
public to review the item.
Dennis Hayes, a local lawyer who
now deals almost exclusively with
medical marijuana issues, was the first
of ten citizens to address the council in
opposition to the resolution. He also
made clear his suspicion of a hidden
"You all should know better than to
do this stuff in secret," he said.
Some members of the council,
including Sabra Briere (D-Ward 1),
Margie Teall (D-Ward 3) and Carsten
Hohnke (D-Ward 5), said they were
surprised by the last minute addition.
"Bringing this forward tonight,
well actually last night, was a sur-
prise to many of us because by rights
we should've seen it last Friday. Our
council rules say that as council mem-
bers we should try very hard to bring
forward our resolutions by Friday of
the week before the council meeting
occurs," Briere said.
Hohnke said he suggested the
council postpone the resolution until
the following week. Briere supported
his proposal, arguing that the public
deserved time to look it over.
After some discussion, the council
decided that it would be best to pro-
ceed with the resolution since it had
already been brought to the table and
delaying it would only push the mora-
torium further down the road.
In an interview with The Michigan
Daily, Council Member Mike Anglin
(D-Ward 5) said the discussion on
the issue lasted for about an hour and
a half, because it was the first time
the council had addressed medical
marijuana policy in a public meeting.
Throughout the discussion, the coun-
cil made a number of amendments to
Council Member Christopher Tay-
lor (D-Ward 3) was the first to intro-
duce several amendments to make
sure individual patients and caregivers
would still be allowed to grow and use
marijuana as allowed by the state law
duringthe four-month moratorium.
"The proposal," he said, "does not
seek to keep sick patients or their
caregiver from the medicine that they
require and is their right per state law."
With the original resolution calling
for a six-month moratorium, Coun-
cil Member Sandi Smith (D-Ward 1)
proposed that the council shorten the
moratorium to 90 days, calling 180
days "punitive" and unnecessary with
the availability of models of regulation
proposed by citizens or already estab-
lished in places like Traverse City.
The council compromised with 120
days at the suggestion of City Adminis-
trator Roger Fraser.
One decision that the council debat-
ed at length was whether the resolu-
tion should grandfather in pre-existing
dispensaries, which would allow them
to remain open until the end of the four
months, at which point they too would
be subject to the zoning regulations
decided on during the moratorium.
Charles Ream, a prominent advo-
cate in the medical marijuana commu-
nity who is involved in the planning of
a dispensary on Packard Road, urged
the council at the beginning of the
meeting to vote against the resolution,
but at the very least allow current dis-
pensaries to keep their doors open.
Briere argued in favor of the grand-
father clause for the sake of patients
in the community who already rely on
dispensaries for their medicine.
Council Member Stephen Rapunda-
lo (D-Ward 2) was the sole voice in
opposition to the grandfather clause,
saying all dispensaries should close
unless they can convince the council
in a public hearing that staying open
would avoid economic harm to the city.
The council ultimately voted in
favor of an amendment introduced by
Taylor, specifying that the resolution
apply only to "the initiation or expan-
sion of" dispensaries on city property.
After the resolution passed, Ann
Arbor Mayor John Hieftje expressed
his feelings on the resolution to the
citizens in the room, saying he thought
a moratorium was appropriate and rea-
"It does seem to me given what
we've heard from our neighborhoods,
it would not be a bad idea to step back,
take a little time," he said. "Don't
change a thing from the way it is now,
but take a little time to decide how we
will go forward."
. An August 2 article in The
Michigan Daily ("'U' student
canvasses for county office
seat") inaccurately reported
that LSA senior Yousef Rabhi
is 21 years old. He is 22.
. Please report any error in
the Daily to corrections@
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