In the wake of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA) passed by state voters in 2008, the Waterford Township Board of Trustees adopted a resolution on Monday, March 28 that casts a blind eye to certain in-home and individual activities related to medical marijuana use.
The resolution states the township’s zoning ordinance won’t be amended given the understanding that for enforcement purposes, certain medical marijuana activities will be not be regulated nor prohibited.
The Planning Commission determined that the township should maintain the existing zoning ordinance regulations prohibiting medical marijuana land uses in conformity with federal laws and regulations until state lawmakers revise the MMMA.
“Currently the law is convoluted and needs to be fixed,” said Supervisor Carl Solden. “It has caused communities to scramble to do what is best with no clear guidance.”
Four activities have been singled out as those that township officials do not believe fall under a land use and thus do not constitute a violation of the zoning ordinance.
The activities include:
• A registered medial marijuana patient possessing or using medical marijuana in their home;
• A registered medical marijuana caregiver transporting medical marijuana grown and processed outside the township to medical marijuana patients in the township;
• A registered medical marijuana patient growing no more than 12 marijuana plants in his/her home solely for his/her medical use; and
• A medical marijuana caregiver growing it at home in accordance with the MMMA solely for the purpose of providing it to a registered medical marijuana patient residing in the same home as the caregiver without the caregiver receiving compensation.
That activity drew some opposition from the community, but if the patients reside outside the home, these activities could be of a business/commercial nature.
“It boils down to land use,” Solden explained. “Patients must be under the same roof, otherwise it’s a violation. But it still doesn’t take the rights away from the patients.”
Compassion clubs and dispensaries are still not allowed since they are considered illegal under federal law, Solden said. He added that there must be some parameters in place or it presents an open field to marijuana cultivating and dispensing.
“When people headed to the polls, they wanted those suffering to get medicine via a prescription,” he said. “The majority doesn’t want a free-for-all.”