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Addison ponders what to do about medical marijuana

May 25, 2011 - A new twist has occurred in the medical marijuana saga in Addison Township.

After the township's planning commission spent months researching and putting together a township ordinance regarding medical marijuana, Township Attorney Robert Davis informed the Board of Trustees at their meeting on Monday, May 16 that Oakland County is looking to establish a county-wide ordinance.

"Your county has come forward and said they are taking a lead and developing a standard ordinance for Oakland County communities and we hear that should be ready for our review in the next 60 days," Davis said.

He also informed the board the federal government was doing test cases where they prosecuted township board members for enacting medical marijuana ordinances, which they deem illegal.

"The state says it is (legal), while the federal government says it's not. It is putting you in an awkward situation," Davis said.

The township's current medical marijuana moratorium ends in July, leaving the board with a decision to make at their June 20 meeting.

Davis told the board they should consider two possibilities during that meeting, adopt something or do nothing.

"I would strongly recommended that in your June meeting one of two things - that you either make a commitment to extend your moratorium pending the county producing a model ordinance, which I think you are going to like or adopt some form of an ordinance that brings you into compliance with the state law where you do not allow dispensaries in your community, or you could always do nothing and just follow the state law," Davis said.

He informed the board if they were to go ahead and adopt the ordinance the planning commission put together, there was the possibility the township would be in conflict with the county if they established an ordinance.

Trustee Linda Gierak asked what the township would have to do if the Oakland County adopted a county-wide ordinance.

Davis told her the board wouldn't have to do anything but adopt the county ordinance.

"I like that because we (already) contract with the Oakland County Sheriff's Office and they are county-wide," said Supervisor Bruce Pearson.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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