Saline prohibits medical marijuana dispensaries
The Saline City Council has taken action to keep medical marijuana dispensaries out of the city.
Saline Mayor Gretchen Driskell and City Manager Todd Campbell said city officials decided they wanted to follow federal law regarding marijuana, which prohibits its sale and possession.
City Council members unanimously approved an amendment to Saline's zoning ordinance that prohibits the sale or possession of marijuana or "anything that is a violation of federal, state or local laws," Campbell said.
The city's action was prompted by voters' approval of medicinal marijuana in 2008. Since then, communities have struggled with figuring out how to regulate its use.
Saline officials decided on an approach aimed at eliminating ambiguities.
"It's pretty complicated," Driskell said. "Sure it's legal by the state, but at the same time, it's not legal by the federal government."
Campbell said city officials considered three approaches: "Do nothing, regulate (the marijuana) or prohibit,” he said. “They decided to prohibit it.”
He said he only knew of one preliminary inquiry the city had received about setting up a medical marijuana establishment.
Other local communities are also wrestling with how to handle medical marijuana. A medical marijuana clinic is operating in Ann Arbor, but an official says the city will soon examine the legality of any dispensaries and the broader issue of zoning for medical marijuana dispensing and use within city limits.
Ypsilanti Township has approved its own zoning ordinance regulating medical marijuana dispensaries. Some communities, like Birmingham, have adopted Saline's approach and banned medical marijuana.
The legal status of medical marijuana businesses remains unclear in the state. A Lansing-area smoking club was recently raided by police.
Freelance reporter Alana West contributed to this article.