Battle Creek talks medical marijuana ordinance to allow dispensaries in city limits

BATTLE CREEK, Mich– The confusion over medical marijuana dispensaries finally got cleaned up in the state legislature after people in Michigan spent years trying to work within the vaguely written ‘Act’ passed by voters in 2008.

Now communities like Battle Creek are trying to come to terms with the new rules.

On Tuesday, the Battle Creek City Commission held a workshop to talk about what would happen if they adopt an ordinance allowing the licensing for the sale of medical marijuana.

The overall goal of Tuesday’s workshop at City Hall was to start the conversation, while introducing some ideas and getting the public’s input.

During the meeting, the city attorney talked about things like growers, processors, transportation and how the licenses to make it all legal would be issued.

“Getting to think about what we would do in the city of Battle Creek if we wanted to adopt this. To have some familiarities with the licensing scheme and things to think about," says Jill Humphreys Steele, the Battle Creek City Attorney.

Supporters say, medical marijuana patients need a safe location and reliable source to go buy their medicine.

“In regards to having dispensaries, my grandma was 70 and it was important for her to have access," says a person whose grandmother died of cancer. “And there are people in that age bracket that will not have that access to something that could really improve their quality of life.''

As for where to place the dispensaries and how many to allow, the chief of police says a lot has to be figured out before adopting a medical marijuana licensing ordinance.

"There are a number of challenges in terms of the infrastructure in how is the state going to manage this in and of itself. And what I'm really referring to is big picture items like money, insurance and guns," says Battle Creek Police Chief Jim Blocker.

Since guns can't be used to guard the medical marijuana, and because it would primarily be a cash business with federal banking laws, Chief Blocker says they must figure out a way to provide security for the transportation of the product and revenue.

The city is still determining whether it will have another workshop like the one held on Tuesday or if it will just pass the ordinance.

If it passed, the city would be able to start issuing licenses in December.

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3 comments

  • Chris

    Good idea, keep the money local. Droves of people from West Michigan drive to Lansterdam aka Lansing every week. Then again Lansing has Big John’s, Halo Burger, and Wayback burger.

  • William Clark

    No one should promote the canard that marijuana is socially undesirable, or dangerous–inherently toxic–like pharmaceutical drugs. Or even that it is a ‘drug’, except in Merriam-Webster’s third and broadest definition, as something which affects the mind. By that definition, religion and television (‘the plug-in drug’) should also be included. In truth marijuana is a medicinal herb, cultivated, bred, and evolved in service to human beings over thousands of years.

    “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that had two enemies: the anti-war left and black people. We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting people to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, break up their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” –John Ehrlichman

    Prohibition of marijuana is a premise built on a tissue of lies: Concern For Public Safety. Our new laws save hundreds of lives every year, on our highways alone. In November of 2011, a study at the University of Colorado found that in the thirteen states that decriminalized marijuana between 1990 and 2009, traffic fatalities dropped by nearly nine percent—now nearly ten percent in Michigan—more than the national average, while sales of beer went flat by five percent. No wonder Big Alcohol opposes it. Ambitious, unprincipled, profit-driven undertakers might be tempted too.

    In 2012 a study released by 4AutoinsuranceQuote revealed that marijuana users are safer drivers than non-marijuana users, as “the only significant effect that marijuana has on operating a motor vehicle is slower driving”, which “is arguably a positive thing”.

    No one has ever died from an overdose of marijuana. It’s the most benign ‘substance’ in history. Most people—and particularly patients who medicate with marijuana–use it in place of prescription drugs or alcohol.

    Marijuana has many benefits, most of which are under-reported or never mentioned in American newspapers. Research at the University of Saskatchewan indicates that, unlike alcohol, cocaine, heroin, or Nancy (“Just say, ‘No!’”) Reagan’s beloved nicotine, marijuana is a neuroprotectant that actually encourages brain-cell growth. Researchers in Spain (the Guzman study) and other countries have discovered that it also has tumor-shrinking, anti-carcinogenic properties. These were confirmed by the 30-year Tashkin population study at UCLA.

    Drugs are man-made, cooked up in labs, for the sake of patents and the profits gained by them. Often useful, but typically burdened with cautionary notes and lists of side effects as long as one’s arm. ‘The works of Man are flawed.’

    Marijuana is a medicinal herb, the most benign and versatile in history. In 1936 Sula Benet, a Polish anthropologist, traced the history of the word “marijuana”. It was “cannabis” in Latin, and “kanah bosm” in the old Hebrew scrolls, quite literally the Biblical Tree of Life, used by early Christians to treat everything from skin diseases to deep pain and despair. Why despair? Consider the current medical term for cannabis sativa: a “mood elevator”. . . as opposed to antidepressants, which ‘flatten out’ emotions, leaving patients numb to both depression and joy.

    The very name, “Christ” translates as “the anointed one”. Well then, anointed with what? It’s a fair question. And it wasn’t holy water, friends. Holy water came into wide use in the Middle Ages. In Biblical times, it was used by a few tribes of Greek pagans. And Christ was neither Greek nor pagan.

    Medicinal oil, for the Prince of Peace. A formula from the Biblical era has been rediscovered. It specifies a strong dose of oil from kanah bosom, ‘the fragrant cane’ of a dozen uses: ink, paper, rope, nutrition. . . . It was clothing on their backs and incense in their temples. And a ‘skinful’ of medicinal oil could certainly calm one’s nerves, imparting a sense of benevolence and connection with all living things. No wonder that the ‘anointed one’ could gain a spark, an insight, a sense of the divine, and the confidence to convey those feelings to friends and neighbors.

    Don’t want it in your neighborhood? Maybe you’re not the Christian you thought you were.

    Me? I’m appalled at the number of ‘Christian’ politicians, prosecutors, and police who pose on church steps or kneeling in prayer on their campaign trails, but cannot or will not face the scientific or the historical truths about cannabis, Medicinal Herb Number One, safe and effective for thousands of years, and celebrated as sacraments by most of the world’s major religions.