Pubdate: Thu, 15 Apr 2010
Source: Times Herald, The (Port Huron, MI)
Copyright: 2010 The Times Herald
Author: Liz Shepard


Two local municipalities have passed resolutions  designed to put the
brakes on so-called medical  marijuana compassion centers.

The Marysville City Council approved a resolution  Monday that
prevents marijuana from being distributed  in the city indefinitely.
Kimball Township officials  approved a six-month moratorium earlier
this month.

Marysville City Manager Jack Schumacher said the state  legislation
that makes medical marijuana legal is so  vague and confusing
officials don't know what it  allows. He said the moratorium will
remain in place  until local officials straighten out the state law.

It was proposed, Schumacher said, after a husband and wife approached
Kimball Township officials in March about opening a compassion  center.

The center, Debra and Jim Amsdill have said, would  include a
membership room where people registered  through the Michigan Medical
Marijuana Program could  smoke pot. They described the business as a
place where  patients and caregivers could meet, network and have
informational meetings. There are about 40 such clubs  across the state.

Schumacher said the resolution was a proactive step  taken after
officials saw the confusion the issue  caused in Kimball. It does not
prevent registered  medical marijuana users from using the drug, he

Kimball Township Supervisor Rob Usakowski said the  moratorium passed
there gives the planning commission  time to include compassion
centers in zoning  ordinances.

Members of the township's board of trustees requested  the planning
commission address specific details of the  centers, including how far
from a school they can be,  signage and hours of operation.

The Amsdills of Kimball Township proposed opening a  compassion center
in the Sawmill Commons strip mall,  4731 Lapeer Road. The proposal
wasn't met with fanfare  from local officials, who were concerned the
center  would be about 400 feet from Landmark Academy, a  charter school.

Marysville Mayor Gary Orr said he wanted to make sure  he had answers
if someone came to the City Council with  such a business proposal.

He wants to see local ordinances passed establishing  guidelines for
where compassion centers could open. Orr  said he hopes such
ordinances can be adopted by the end  of the year.

"We've got an awful lot of discovery and research," he  said. 
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