In November 2008, the Michigan voters resoundingly passed the “Medical Marijuana Act” (MMA), an initiated bill, with a 63% majority. This law, which went into effect in December 2008, had caregivers and prospective patients registering as early as in the spring of 2009. It allows the limited growing (and use by qualified patients) of marijuana for medical use by those who are registered. The federal laws against marijuana are still on the books, and the restrictions of this bill empathize with that fact in its seventh section:

In 2008, I voted with the minority, contrary to what some would call my libertarian leanings. My reasons were personal; I know/knew some people who abused the drug to extremes, know of three vehicle accidents involving people I know where pot/mind-altering drugs was a contributing factor, and see nothing positive with the casual use of the drug. I never used it myself, and have actively worked to help those who have kick the habit.

In September of 2010, PM and Hamlin Townships, as well as the city of Manistee each passed a moratorium (a legally authorized period of delay) on medical marijuana distribution. On Monday night, Jan. 24, the Ludington City Council will consider imposing a moratorium on the issuance of licenses, permits or approvals for the sale or dispensing of medical marijuana, until zoning issues can be worked out.

“Basically, it’s just to give our planning commission time to figure out the best way to regulate medical marijuana,” City Manager John Shay said about the moratorium he is recommending that the council approve.

Here’s the part of the thread I usually jump on Ludington’s policymakers, but allow me to hold off on that. I actually commend Ludington City Hall for waiting a bit to join the local moratorium bandwagon that happened four months ago, and for not creating any restrictive ordinances which would likely lose if challenged in court. Some cities have done just that, and are likely to pay for it in lawsuits that have the initiated state law prohibiting what they’ve enacted in their local statutes.

Correction: have their citizens pay for their attempt to regulate this law that was passed resoundingly by those same citizens.

It’s reasonable to think that state laws voted in by the initiation process should be considered ‘greater’ law than those passed by the state legislatures. The MM law is fairly responsible, and imposes no real duties on local governments, and similarly does not empower them with new abilities.

If a caregiver or patient is following the state law on dispensation of marijuana, can a locality that claims a moratorium on such actually intervene, citing existing federal law for such enforcement, without risking being sued?

It may be the libertarian strain in my logic, but I think all local moratoriums are not enforceable, perhaps illegal, and the best thing for any county, township, or city to do is nothing at this point. The MMA has been a law for over two years; society hasn’t crumbled down because of there being no local regulations to dilute the statute.

In the city ordinances there are no references to ‘moratoriums’ or ‘marijuana’, nor is there language in the totality of state law that gives local governments the power to invoke a moratorium on an existing state law. I encourage the Ludington City Council to leave it well enough alone— before the ACLU or other civil rights agencies start class action lawsuits on localities that violate the people’s initiated law with illegal moratoria.

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As win any law, their is always the chance that even a law with good intent will be abused. I know of at least 1 situation... and i'm sure there are more... where someone has a said marijuana license (I don't know if the person actually has a legit legal reason for use or not, only know that before the law was passed that he was a pothead already), and wants a lover of his to get a license (regardless of the fact that she doesn't need it) so he can get more pot. In some ways it suggest that whoever the Dr. is that is ok'ing the license to the guy is not a real legit Dr. What might need to be done is to have some sort of limit on the Dr's that can issue the licenses so that the chances of the law being abused are reduced.
The same thing currently happens with prescription drugs that are abused or are gotten hold of by people who they are not prescribed for.  Medical privacy laws make this law  difficult to enforce with inconsistent policies among the federal and state.  Perhaps that was the idea all along.
I take it you are on the same random drug test program that I am on X, or were for FF, same as the Charterboat Industry. Irregardless, I totally agree, the State and people of same have spoken, these same LOCAL meddlers wanted to invoke an  ordinance for prohibition of sale of liquor on Sunday morns., that also failed, as should this new proposal. And btw, it's NOT NEW, 2008, the local MEDDLERS have had ample time to note, spotlight, and prohibit this law too. Why wait so long? And why try to overturn the will of the People of the entire STATE of Michigan? Same answers if you ask me, unchecked and unleashed Power and Egos. In closing, who is to judge what medical remedies available for pain and anxiety should or should not be available in Mason County given the particular circumstances that could prevail with any given individual? I'd appreciate a comment from Masonco on this too, anytime convenient, for some more expertise from the medical field practitioners, thanks. P.S. Note: the dispensing of Legal drugs that do a lot more harm as far as addiction and cogent behavior over-the-counter in pill fashion, does A LOT more HARM in the long run daily than any pot heads I've known over the last 40 years. But, that's just my opinion, and a given fact from some recent articles on the matter by medical experts, but I have no link yet as this thread is new.

This moratorium passed without any problem in the City Council, and the language used in it was this according to today's LDN: 

"... in order to protect the public health, safety, and welfare, the city finds and determines that it is reasonable and prudent to immediately forbid use of all property and structures in the City of Ludington as facilities for dispensing marijuana or cultivating marijuana plants for medical or any other purposes for a limited time until the zoning ordinance can be amended to address such facilities and operations."


Although it is noted that no one has approached the city with requests about marijuana growth or sales prior to this, by their actions they have opened up potential liability if it is found that the similar moratoriums that are currently being tested in Michigan courts are contrary to the law. 

I think if you were registered as per the law and you did try to sell or cultivate within the bounds of your license here while this moratorium is in effect, and the City tried to enforce it, you would likely have a lot of money in your future courtesy of the Ludington taxpayers because of its infringement on your rights. 


Their actions here and in other past matters say "they could care less if they are sued". Look at the Byers case, the Indian Summer case with the County, just to name two of recent. Like I said, unchecked and unleashed egos of monumental proportions exist on high. Who spearheaded this, Castonia and Peterson, the public safety committee members?
I agree with the medical marijauna law, however I also agree that communities can and should call a halt to allowing more stores until regulations on where and how they can do business is worked out. For instance, in Lansing the City Council also put a moratorium on the creation of further shops until zoning laws could be adapted because marijauna shops are popping up all over even near schools. The store fronts of these shops are being decorated with large neon marijauna leaves and other advertisments that make them resemble a potheads bedroom.  I think the State should have required that medical marijuana be dispensed from licensed pharmacies just like other medicines.
From all that's been published to date, They ARE licensed pharmacies, unto their own domain that is. So, what's the Problemo? Here's what it is imho, there is three hierarchies in this State, starting with the least: 3) State of Michigan, 2) the Federal Government, and #1) Ludington Laws, this being the HIGHEST, pardon the pun, of the highest authority in the Land. That's what's known as EGO, and unchecked, unbalanced POWER of Authority that exceeds it's boundaries of legality. If you Want and Need more EMPTY storefronts in Ludington Ave. and S. James St. just keep up this frivolity in it's most insincere falsehood of Victorian attitudes. Then look for the upcoming Lawsuits that follow, and as we all know, the City can and will afford it, at ANY COST, so long as the taxpayer coffers allow it. And of course the usual aptitude of Apathy that accompanies such actions to date.
They are not pharmacies. They are licensed pot stores which requires no special education. There are less requirements for these than hair stying salons which are also required to be licensed. This isn't just a Ludington situation. CIties all over Michigan are trying to figure out the best way to handle the zoning issues regarding these stores. The State did not do their homework and left the finer details unresolved which shifted the burden to local governments. I am glad Ludington is taking a close look at how these stores should be zoned and where they can be located.

RJE, other Michigan communities have put in moratoriums back in 2009.  Our state and others have had many zoning codes in place dealing with MM for longer.  How difficult is it to create zoning law that takes this law into account? 

Have they even started talking about this issue until now?  As Aquaman says, this is just the LCC making an accord with the poor councilors who weren't allowed to ban Sunday sales of alcoholBan Lite.

Many other cities are, at this time, doing the same thing Ludington is doing. Like I said the Capital City just passed a moratorium of 1 year in order to get a handle on this situation. Until these pot shops started to spring up everywhere, noone was really aware of how their presence would affect communities. I doubt very much that this has anything to do with the Sunday alcohol ban. Why not go to the meetings and ask why they wanted a temporary ban regarding the pot shops and what is being proposed as far as zoning regulations. Also it takes time to introduce, pass and implement new zoning laws regarding a new type of business that has never existed before now. I'm sure they do not want to hurry the process so the can make sure they get it right.
But, with all due respect RJE, they have no problems with introducing "truth in taxation" type matters in a big hurry, without any fair notice to the public, except about a 2 day lead time. Very important matters that affect all the City of Ludington properties for years to come. The Planning Commission had no problem rezoning many industrial and private properties into "Waterfront Zone" just a few years ago either, and dividing them into 3 districts, so as to divide the property owners apart, to achieve a means to an end, that of not grandfathering in many industries and residences, so a bigger idea of zoning for condos., and retail on the PM Lake waterfront could be forced through real quickly. Dragging their feet on this is paramount to the old 1920's movies that pronounced that Pot usage drove people insane, and made them heroin addicts too. It's Victorian and Ancient visions by people lost in the distant past, with no real ideas for the future, pretty much Not Rocket Science, just a knee-jerk reaction as per the usual. I'd be willing to bet, and I'm not a better, that if ANYONE showed up to Object to this new ordinance last Monday, that they would point fingers and accuse them of being POTHEADS, just for the sake of illegal and unethical prudence. Thanks for your cogent response Edie.

They do everything else without caring about whether they get it right or not, so why the knee jerk reaction here?


Because they are afraid they won't get their own hands in the pot so to speak!!!lol pun INTENDED!!!LOL


Either that or the old fogies still have 'reefer madness'.  I guess they are afraid to support the locals economy and would rather the money be sent of to the 'pot shops' in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Detroit, Mt Pleasant, Muskegon, and TC. Or better yet they would rather the whole thing was done away with altogether and the CARTELS from Central and South America were getting all the profits.


Personally I would rather not see Tattoo shops downtown Unless they LOOK like some of the UPSCALE ones In the cities. AND I would rather pot was DECRIMINALIZED, not legalized. To me it is a health issue not a criminal one, but I guess I am a personal rights libertarian.


The question is who is going to open one of these up and be the guinea pig for the local Law Enforcement? Now *that* will be interesting to see. It better be one of the 'good ol' boys' in it for the money or it will be felony conviction convention town. LOL




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