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Posted on Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

Medical marijuana supporters mourn the loss of dispensaries in Ann Arbor

By Ryan J. Stanton

A recent police crackdown and a court ruling outlawing sales at dispensaries has put a damper on the medical marijuana industry in Ann Arbor.

Earlier this year, city officials estimated as many as 18 dispensaries were operating in Ann Arbor, serving thousands of patients. But that's changed in the last two weeks.

"To my knowledge, all of them are shut down," said City Attorney Stephen Postema, adding the only exception might be People's Choice Alternative Medicine on Main Street.

But even that one isn't expected to be in business long.

"We will be moving to close them down," Postema said. "And the reason being, they are in an improperly zoned area and cannot operate there. The owner there is currently moving to evict them, I understand, this week. So we're letting that eviction process go forward."

Several medical marijuana activists — including patients and dispensary owners — voiced their concerns before the Ann Arbor City Council Tuesday night. They argued thousands of sick people are going without their medicine now that dispensaries are closed.

Mark Passerini, a University of Michigan graduate and co-founder of the OM of Medicine dispensary on Main Street, told council members he shut his doors two weeks ago after the Michigan Court of Appeals ruling came down and two local dispensaries were raided.


LAWNET officers haul away items from the Med Mar medical marijuana dispensary in Ann Arbor during a raid on Aug. 25.

Ryan J. Stanton |

He said the controversial court decision has effectively forced tens of thousands of patients across Michigan back into a state of limbo.

"There are over 100,000 patients around the state hoping that this historically progressive and forward-thinking city of Ann Arbor will continue with the licensing process you've worked so hard to craft," Passerini said, noting 74 percent of Ann Arbor voters approved medical marijuana for qualifying patients. "Please don't take any steps backwards."

Before the events of the last two weeks, the City Council recently approved licensing and zoning ordinances regulating medical marijuana dispensaries. The city was expected to dole out licenses allowing up to 20 dispensaries in the city.

That's looking unlikely now, though.

"The contemplated licensing ordinance only addressed dispensaries that were fully compliant with state law," Postema said. "The dispensaries that are in Ann Arbor are not in compliance with state law and that's why they've closed."

Postema clarified that most of the dispensaries shut down on their own, probably on the advice of their attorneys.

"I know the county prosecutor issued a statement last week warning folks," he added. "Perhaps that had a lot to do with it."

Council members debated Tuesday night whether a new Ann Arbor Medical Marijuana Advisory Board, set up to advise the City Council on medical marijuana policy, is even needed now that dispensaries are deemed illegal. But the council ultimately decided by a 10-0 vote to appoint four members, including Council Member Sabra Briere, to the board.

Council Member Mike Anglin, D-5th Ward, was absent.

Dori Edwards, owner of the Tree City Health Collective, said she moved to Ann Arbor several years ago for its liberal ideals. She said she's sad to say she had to close the doors of her dispensary two weeks ago after hearing others were being raided.

"I stood outside the door and I turned away patients — patients coming up in wheelchairs and walkers," she said. "It brought tears to my eyes. It was very, very difficult, because these patients didn't know where to go."

She said one patient even commented, "I guess I'm going to have to drive to Detroit and get it on the corner where I used to get it."

Ann Arbor resident Koos Eisenberg, a patient at OM of Medicine before it closed, told council members she's not interested in growing marijuana on her own, she's not interested in buying it on the street, and she prefers going to a dispensary over a caregiver.

"In my experience in Ann Arbor dispensaries, I have learned about different medical marijuana strains that are appropriate for my medical needs. I have learned about options such as vaporizing, which is safer for my lungs," she said, adding her experience with a caregiver hasn't gone as smoothly and doesn't feel as safe.

"Often my caregiver is out of town," she said. "He has been robbed."

Shelly Smith, another medical marijuana activist, talked about the economic impact of losing dispensaries in Ann Arbor.

"If the decision is upheld, then on top of the many, many, many unemployed already, you can add at least 100 more in this immediate area," she said. "You can add at least five empty buildings. At least $30,000 a month in lost rent."

Chuck Ream, owner of the Med Mar dispensary on Packard Road, told council members about being raided by the Livingston and Washtenaw Narcotics Enforcement Team.

"My Ann Arbor business was recently attacked in broad daylight and robbed by masked men with guns," he said. "My employees would have called police, but the robbers were police."

Though his store was emptied by police and three of his employees were taken into custody, no warrant was ever shown and no charges were ever filed, Ream said.

"Of course, you know what their game is," Ream said. "If my investor tries to get back his money that they stole, they will charge his child with a felony crime. That's perverted. They stole all the medicine. They went to the bank and stole what was there.


Chuck Ream carries a protest sign and talks with a passerby as his dispensary is raided on Aug. 25.

Ryan J. Stanton |

"They stole the license application that we had just gotten from the city of Ann Arbor to become licensed and legal," he added. "The city should defend the city charter."

Ream referred to a portion of the city charter, which was amended by voters several years ago to read:

"No Ann Arbor police officer, or his or her agent, shall complain and the city attorney shall not refer for prosecution any complaint, of the possession, control, use, giving away, sale or cultivation of marijuana or cannabis upon proof that the defendant is recommended by a physician, practitioner or other qualified health professional to use or provide the marijuana or cannabis for medical treatment."

Postema said state law, in this instance, trumps the city charter.

"The city charter is bound in its parameters by the state law," he said. "The city charter can't provide greater rights for dispensaries when they do not exist in state law."

Ream said he's learned the bust at his place resulted from complaints to police.

"The officers said the raid was caused because we had served two people with expired cards," he said. "Well, if that was true, they should have sent us a letter or given us a ticket."

Medical marijuana activists from across Michigan are expected to rally on the steps of the state Capitol today. Several from Ann Arbor are going, and they were expected to have a sit-down meeting with state Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, this morning before the rally starts.

Michigan voters in 2008 approved use of marijuana to relieve pain and other chronic ailments. About 100,000 people have state-issued cards letting them have 2.5 ounces of usable pot and up to 12 plants. Registered caregivers can grow marijuana for five people.

Passerini told council members the intent of the state act was to afford patients safe access to medical marijuana. But he said experience has shown it's unrealistic to expect a patient to rely on a sole caregiver — instead of dispensaries — for their medicine.

"First and foremost, it takes a seasoned cultivator four months to grow one plant, four months during which that legal patient may have to do without their medicine," he said.

"Additionally, most caregivers are unwilling to bear the expense or gain the expertise necessary to make edibles, tinctures, extractions or topicals," he said. "These are all different means of delivering medicine to patients."

Passerini said it's clear that state and federal law both need to change.

"Dispensaries cannot be allowed to be short-lived or a thing of the past, but instead a very viable solution for the future," he said.

Postema said he suspects the Michigan Supreme Court will uphold the appeals court ruling if it goes that far. He said it may take a 75 percent vote of the Legislature or another citizen-led petition drive to legalize dispensaries.

Until that happens, he said, the city must follow the prevailing state law and not allow dispensaries to operate in Ann Arbor.

"I have no choice but to accept that," Postema said. "The ruling is the law of the state of Michigan and I think it is naive to continue to suggest there's a conspiracy with the judges or there's a conspiracy with this or a conspiracy with that."

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's e-mail newsletters.


Athena Aegis

Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 5:42 a.m.

Clownfish's point is STILL right on. The persecution has only gotten worse over the past few months. We're seeing more and more dispensaries shut down, more patients being denied safe access. I'm not a patient, just a Mom, but I'm sick of seeing people shut down and locked up for this when there are so many other serious, unresolved issues that need our time and resources. There's an effort underway to Repeal Marijuana Prohibition in Michigan. has information on how to get involved and volunteer to get Prohibition Repeal on the 2012 Ballot.

E. Manuel Goldstein

Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 8:12 p.m.

As the late great IWW labor organizer Joe Hill once said "Don't mourn, ORGANIZE!" That means getting vocal at City Council to demand the resignation of Stephen Postema, since he clearly does not understand the will of 74% of Ann Arbor voters. It also means demanding that the AAPD make marijuana enforcement a zero priority. This means getting vocal at the Washtenaw County Commission meetings demanding that the County Prosecutor make busting Washtenaw County Medical Marijuana clinics and dispensaries a zero priority, and that the Washtenaw County Sherriff's Department pull out of LAWNET. Next election, it will be time to vote out Brian Mackie unless he decides to place greater emphasis on busting real criminals, robbers, rapists, and not patients, caregivers, and dispensaries. This means putting together more ballot proposals at the local and state level to totally decriminalize all forms of marijuana usage.

michael elizabeth

Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 1:21 a.m.

The dispensary at 2360 East Stadium appears to still be open for business.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 8:53 p.m.

In Ann Arbor? I didn't read the article, just can't believe the headline. Ann Arbor started the whole legalize pot, $5 fine, etc. Ypsilanti, which is a far worse city then Ann Arbor is well on there way with the medical marijuana growing/dispensing. I think there is that someone on a board somewhere who is totally against pot and costing all of us a lot of time and money. The same board who doesn't want the thongs & bongs in downtown!


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 8:44 p.m.

The reality is, law enforcement makes a fortune on busting people for pot. With property seizures, cash, auto's etc. it's a money making enterprise that funds much of what they do, and in light of recent layoffs and's not hard to see why they want it to remain illegal....the all mighty buck! Obviously, the much smarter approach would be to legalize and tax, no question they'd receive quite a bit more funding...heck, that would put them all back to work and could fight real crime! Wonder how much money the state has made thus far on the application fees?

Wilford John Presler IV

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 7:37 p.m.

<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Wilford John Presler IV

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 7:35 p.m.

THE EMPEROR WEARS NO CLOTHES! <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> book No Man is bound to obey an UNJUST LAW - Thomas Jefferson

Milton Shift

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 7:15 p.m.

<a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Before any clowns start saying this is a &quot;stoner site&quot; and has &quot;zero credibility,&quot; let me suggest actually looking and seeing that every article has extensive use of citations to medical journals. Here's a list of citations on cannabis treating cancer: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Example: &quot;Consequently, many experts now believe that cannabinoids &quot;may represent a new class of anticancer drugs that retard cancer growth, inhibit angiogenesis and the metastatic spreading of cancer cells.&quot;[38-39]&quot; [38] Natalya Kogan. 2005. Cannabinoids and cancer. Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry 5: 941-952. [39] Sarafaraz et al. 2008. Cannabinoids for cancer treatment: progress and promise. Cancer Research 68: 339-342.

Mr Blue

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 6:19 p.m.

Did Stephen Postema purposely mislead Mayor and Council while he and his staff were working on the local dispensary ordinance when indeed his personal opinion was against them? Was he simply stalling for time in his decisions while AG Scheutte directed the activist judges to fast track their decision? His comments of conspiracy theories seems like a self serving preemptory strike against the picture that the connected dots are showing us.

Michigan Man

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 10:36 p.m.

Ms. Blue - I own property in Ann Arbor - Does that allow me vote? Actually, I already vote relative Ann Arbor issues using influence, powerful thinking, solid logic and common sense = these are much more effective than your basic and predictable posts. Perhaps I will adopt the Chicago way of voting to my Ann Arbor presence - I will vote early and often to generally to oppose your silly thinking.

Mr Blue

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 8:10 p.m.

Then Postema should resign as taxpayer paid public employee and run for office instead of setting himself up as judge and jury on issues seen differently by the majority of Ann Arbor residents who did not elect him. And you could vote on any issue you wanted... if you lived here.

Michigan Man

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 7:01 p.m.

Ms. Blue - what a silly question. I think you know the answer already - at least I hope so. Of course, Mr. Postema wants to rid Ann Arbor of this unwanted community stain called dispensaries.

Christian Vative

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 5:03 p.m.

Jesus said to do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. None of us would want our child thrown in jail with the sexual predators over marijuana. None of us would want to see an older family member's home confiscated and sold by the police for growing a couple of marijuana plants for their aches and pains. It's time to stop putting our own family members in jail over marijuana. If ordinary Americans could grow a little marijuana in their own back yards, it would be about as valuable as home-grown tomatoes. Let's put the criminals out of business and get them out of our neighborhoods. Let's let ordinary Americans grow a little marijuana in their own back yards. Here's one way that IT IS REALLY WORKING: Arresting the criminals and collecting a fee from registered growers (and bringing in thousands of dollars to support the county budget); what a great plan! This is the way to build a better America! <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 4:53 p.m.

So when is the next doobie party scheduled for on the UofM Diag?


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:46 p.m.

@pawky: Like any substance or activity, some people can develop a psychological dependency on marijuana, but that person (or people) have other issues they do indeed need therapy for. If you're argument is &quot;addiction&quot; why aren't alcohol, tobacco, and pharmaceuticals illegal (truly addictive and for some, but not all, much more harmful).


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:39 p.m.

@marcy: The actual City of Ypsilanti is geographically very small. There are very few places zoned for businesses. Downtown and Depot Town are ideal. I don't think when Third Coast opened there (blocks from EMU), no one was thinking, &quot;Hey, let's be near a college campus!&quot; In fact, they are closer to the police station and the transit center. Care to speculate on who their audience is based on location? Likewise, most of A2's dispensaries were scattered all over town. I'm not familiar with any that were adjacent to the UM campus. As to why they didn't open near hospitals, St Jo is in not in the city limits of either progressive town. So I imagine county sheriffs would've shut them down sooner without township zoning and regulations to support them. Many dispensary owners worked cooperatively with city leaders of both Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor to make this something that was acceptable for all.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:27 p.m.

This is just so sad; tears, wheelchairs, walkers.....not what I've seen at the dispensaries. I've seen more healthy looking young people than you can count. That's why this had to change. The whole thing was becoming a joke and it was driven by the very greed that the &quot;progressives&quot; complain about with &quot;big business&quot;

Milton Shift

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 7:33 p.m.

I should add that there are far more young people driving to pharmacies to pick up heroin-type drugs such as Vicodin, Percocet, and Morphine which are the only other real treatment for pain we have, and carry the same high and addiction potential as HEROIN. Over 50% of Michigan households have these drugs. Over 30% of Michiganders suffer from chronic pain. Less than 1% have a medical marijuana card. And of those that have a medical marijuana card, only the ones that aren't bedridden will be showing up to dispensaries. The bedridden ones will have (surprise!) healthy friends or family (probably young ones, as young people are much less judgmental on marijuana use) pick it up for them.

Milton Shift

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 7:31 p.m.

Back injuries such as crushed vertebrae are excruciatingly painful and completely invisible when being TREATED BY MARIJUANA (I have a friend who was almost killed by a drunk driver while riding her bicycle). Migraines and cluster headaches (which are more painful than childbirth and known as &quot;suicide headaches&quot; because half of its sufferers successfully commit suicide) are also agonizing and invisible to the outside observer. Same with early stage cancer or one that's being successfully treated, and same with the early years of HIV. How about you chat with one of them before you make such rude judgements?


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 4:26 p.m.

David I would bet you dollars to dimes they arent sick at all.

David Briegel

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:33 p.m.

So, they aren't sick enough for ya?


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:17 p.m.

According to Chuck Ream, &quot;My Ann Arbor business was recently attacked in broad daylight and robbed by masked men with guns,&quot; he said. &quot;My employees would have called police, but the robbers were police.&quot; Are you kidding me?? If you don't like a law, work to change it. Don't blame those tasked with enforcing OUR laws. Making such silly misleading statements just makes one look foolish. Like @not from around here, I thought that legitimate pharmacies like CVS &amp; Walgreen would dispense medical marijuana - like other prescription medicine. Most of us who supported medical marijuana law naively never envisioned the current &quot;Cheech &amp; Chong&quot; scenario that is the new reality. Like me, almost everyone supports those who truly need it being able to get. 100,000 Michiganders with MJ cards? What a sham. Please just stop it with the &quot;patients&quot;, &quot;caregivers&quot; and &quot;medicine&quot; nonsense. That attempt to legitimize this charade doesn't work. I know several healthy people that mysteriously developed &quot;chronic back pain&quot;. Those who call marijauna a &quot;harmless plant&quot; should talk to any addiction treatment specialist for a much-needed reality check.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 9:58 p.m.

100,000 people with cards = 1.03% of the state's population. Does that really seem out of line to you? Good Night and Good Luck


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 8:14 p.m.

Cannabis IS a Harmless plant except for the Rabid Know Nothing Prohibitionists, the mere mention of it causes irrational thinking and Paranoia . Can you tell Us what the LD50 of Cannabis is, what about Alcohol or Tobacco, get educated dude.

Milton Shift

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 7:29 p.m.

If you think cops bust marijuana users because they're forced to, you truly are Alice in Wonderland.

Chase Ingersoll

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 6:02 p.m.

What percentage of the 100k Michiganders with medical cards have replaced other medications with marijuana ? I think that your statement does nothing but raise additional questions that should be understood.

Chase Ingersoll

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 6 p.m.

Carbohydrates, fat, nicotine, gambling, porn, alcohol, prescription to the addiction treatment specialist about these. -Reality Check

David Briegel

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:32 p.m.

Cheech and Chong? More like Keystone Cops!


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:29 p.m.

Best written response I have seen on this subject in awhile

Chase Ingersoll

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

I and a number of us on the Washtenaw County GOP executive committee, will be hammering our GOP State Reps (Olson &amp; Ouimet) on this issue, this Thursday night. For those of you on the other side of the isle, I suggest that you show up at your party's monthly executive meeting and do the same. One of the items that I will formally request from our representatives, is the information as to what the &quot;cause&quot; was to raid these places in the first place.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:30 p.m.

I've already contacted them and given them my support.

Tom Joad

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 2:38 p.m.

The medical marijuana movement has been the biggest hoodwinking of America since Wall St. Getting one's medical marijuana card is now a rite of passage for many 18 year-olds who are not suffering from any debilitating or terminal illness. The medical efficacy of pot is largely anecdotal. Even more progressive countries around the world still keep marijuana illegal and places where it has been quasi legalized are rethinking the tremendous social costs. Arguments bandied forth that the cartels love to keep pot illegal fail to recognize that a drugged-up population will always buy their drug of choice at the lowest price, so even if it were legal to buy the price would still be the same because of corporate and dispensary greed and the cartels would undercut both of them and you would buy it from them. They are never going away. Medical marijuana in Michigan is further diminishing our civil rights. Try crossing the USA/Canada border in Detroit, especially coming back, and you are run through the ringers. They are looking for illegal drugs first and foremost. Everyone is a suspected criminal. These so-called medical dispensaries make 10 of thousands each week in cash, perhaps millions of dollars a year. Instead of people buying other goods and services they are spending it on dope because they have their card. The federal government should go after all these sellers with a vengeance. Weed is highly addictive and has real social costs to a community.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 8:05 p.m.

NO, the Biggest HoodWinking was done by your federal government when the decided to make a Legal product Prohibited, and begin a war against peaceful Americans who choose to use a safer product than the Legal Alcohol. The country of Israel recognizes the Medicinal Value of Cannabis, it regulate the growing and Distribution for their citizens who have a Dr.s approval. &quot;a drugged-up population will always buy their drug of choice at the lowest price&quot; IF that is so why do people bother to get a MedMJ card? &quot;Medical marijuana in Michigan is further diminishing our civil rights.&quot; Are you nuts? IF Cannabis were Legalized then the Border patrol wouldn't be looking for it ,,, right? &quot;Weed is highly addictive and has real social costs to a community.&quot; What stupidity.

Milton Shift

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 7:27 p.m.

Anecdotal? Are you joking? You are only establishing your ignorance on the subject. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Every article uses citations extensively. Let's look at an example: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> &quot;...many experts now believe that cannabinoids &quot;may represent a new class of anticancer drugs that retard cancer growth, inhibit angiogenesis and the metastatic spreading of cancer cells.&quot;[38-39]&quot; [38] Natalya Kogan. 2005. Cannabinoids and cancer. Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry 5: 941-952. [39] Sarafaraz et al. 2008. Cannabinoids for cancer treatment: progress and promise. Cancer Research 68: 339-342.

Mr Blue

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 6:48 p.m.

Is it possible that you have any evidence that marijuana is &quot;highly&quot; addictive? Do you consider the costs of putting pot smokers in prisons a real cost to society?


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:42 p.m.

Harry Anslinger really did a fine job with his propaganda I will give him that! Seventy years later and his acolytes are as rabid as ever with their fear tactics and outright lies. With a straight face *figuratively speaking* he wrote that &quot;MMJ in Michigan is diminishing our civil rights&quot; EL Oh EL at that! In his Bizarro world allowing people access to something that was previously against the law is &quot;diminishing&quot; their freedoms. Where do you people come up with this stuff??


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 2:26 p.m.

I cant wait for them to go after the drug dealing doctors. I was in depot town for the heritage fest and a woman from some dispensery wanted to sell me pot, I said I dont have a script. Her reply, we have a doctor coming in tonight, its $150 for a exam and if you dont get a script we will refund your exam fee. What kind of a doctor does that? A real doctor would treat my problem with whatever drug was required and not give me a refund because he couldnt right me a script for pot. This has become so out there and in your face the people are saying enough. I'm all for people being able to use pot for whatever reason thay want, But I do feel this dealing it at every opertunity is wrong and needs to be stopped.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 9:56 p.m.

And you, of course, reported this woman and the doctor she represented to the authorities, right? Good Night and Good Luck


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 7:55 p.m.

Then you support the Legalization,Regulation of Cannabis for Adults.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:14 p.m.

The idea that only people with rec's should be allowed to use cannabis is in and of itself laughable. The reason you're seeing healthy people using it is because there is no reason why they shouldn't be! FIgure that part out and you will understand the answer to your &quot;dealing it at every opportunity&quot; problem

David Briegel

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 1:54 p.m.

Washtenaw County and the City of Ann Arbor need to get out of LAWNET!! We need to provide civilian policy guidance to the City Attorney and Police Chief. Prohibition doesn't work. Priorities need to be adjusted in these tough economic times.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 1:42 p.m.

actually I wish they would do the same thing in Ypsilanti....really medical pot on campus on cross st and then again in depot town near the bars........medical use??? reallly?? are the students that sick? oh my!! I hope Ypsi leaders see this and understand that is not the type of business this community needs and clean it up and get rid of the drug dealers on the bikes too.......this town could be so sweet, if only!!! If its truly medical use..why are they not located in office buildings near medical offices where sick people go? But, nope on campus and the entertainments areas.......really???

Milton Shift

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 7:25 p.m.

Do you know how many people use highly addictive narcotic heroin-type drugs such as Vicodin, Percocet, and Morphine for pain? They give the exact same high as heroin and have the exact same addiction potential. Bottles of these drugs are found in over 50% of Michigan homes. Over 30% of Michiganders suffer from chronic pain. Half of us will die from cancer. Less than 1% of us have medical marijuana cards.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:10 p.m.

People are using it recreationally there does that make you feel better now? Get over it. They are going to use it legal or illegal, please educate yourself and join the right side of this arguement

Mr Blue

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 1:28 p.m.

For all the time, effort and money the city spent on devising a way for dispensaries to operate, we now know Postema's real feelings and what his interests are. While he and his highly paid staff, worked on the dispensary ordinance , he and Barnettt were looking for any excuse to shut down dispensaries. That is just plan two faced hypocrisy. He could have saved a lot of time money and effort by staff and the public by being honest and telling everyone from the beginiing of the discussions that HE was not going to allow dispensaries in HIS fair city. Personal biases, like the one demonstrated by Stephen Postema and Chief Barnett, have no place in law enforcement or when doing the public's business. Postema should offer a letter of resignation when the new City Administrator starts his new job. The law enforcement industry, including Mr Postema and Chief Barnett, depend on marijuana to remain illegal for their own job security. Medical Marijuana patients and recreational users are the easy pickings for law enforcement. Instead of finding rapists Michigan AG William Scheutte, Postema and Barnett seeks to delegitimize what the voters of Michigan passed by a large majority and go after marijuana users. Drunken students demonstrating violent anti social behavior are given slaps on the wrist, legitimate medical marijuana users suffer when dispensaries are closed. Drug cartels do not want marijuana to be legal. The Pharmaceutical industry doesn't want marijuana legalized. Law enforcement doesn't want marijuana legalized. These are not strange bedfellows.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 9:31 p.m.

Ha! Burn. What's your agenda, Hankamp?

Mr Blue

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 2:02 p.m.

Or lived here

Mr Blue

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 1:50 p.m.

Neither Postema nor Barnett have to campaign, They're appointed. Maybe you'd know more about local politics if you paid attention.

Mr Blue

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 1:47 p.m.

How's that anti Obama thing you're heading up going in all white Downer's Grove?

Michigan Man

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 1:37 p.m.

Blue - Hundreds of my Ann Arbor friends have just signed up to actively work on the campaigns of Postema and Barnett. I have access to reliable inside information and I am hearing that the Ann Arbor dispensaries will never again open - gone, shut down and shut out! Sorry for this bad news this morning.

just a voice

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 1:24 p.m.

not from around here; 1 - places like CVS don't have a wholesale source, so they won't be able to distribute 2 - they will also will not distribute because they don't want to have any conflict with federal laws


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 11:44 p.m.

Not from around here you make valid points but your #1 and #3 point contradict one another. The way the law has been narrowly interpreted in this new ruling the only way a person can legally obtain cannabis is to grow their own supply or get it from a registered caregiver (who would have to grow the supply for the patient). So how can the state &quot;allow it to be distributed only at hospital pharmacy and pain centers&quot; when the law makes plainly clear that the only legal method is for people to grow their own or have a registered care giver grow it for them? I don't see any way you can get the state involved in that process in such a way that it provides the amount of regulation you would be comfortable with. Even the suggestion that &quot;it only come from a pharmacy&quot; is outside of the scope of the law. Michigan's medical cannabis law, as it now stands, provides protection from prosecution for people to grow their own or up to five other individual's personal supply of the plant. Anything else is apparently against the law including coop's, dispensaries, pharmacies, etc.

Milton Shift

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 8:20 p.m.

Pharmacies can't dispense it. The licensing system and the federal government stand in the way.

Not from around here

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 4:01 p.m.

then; 1). stickto the options allowed in the original law 2). allow it to also be distributed by our states independant pharmacies 3). allow it to be distributed only at hospital pharmacy and pain centers.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 1:21 p.m.

For a town that's already short on police resources, this a ridiculous use of manpower and taxpayer dollars. Smells a whole lot like prohibition to me.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:32 p.m.

Good reason to let it go then...........

Not from around here

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 1:16 p.m.

OK everyone, LAWNET and the City did NOT prevent legit patients from getting there meds. They can still; 1). Grow there own 2). Get it from a licenced caregiver What they stopped was Drug dealling through Illegal dispensaries and Shady CL doctors. The law has been abused. When I voted for it I expexted the first two options or, better yet, distribution through established pharmacies like CVS, Walgreen, ect. I never expected strip mall drug dealers handing it out to anyone with a bogus script and money in their pockets. No legit Pharmacy could expect to survive by providing just one medicine unless there were some underhanded and illegal dealing going on, not to mention the 18 in A2. You want your Medical MJ back? petition for it to be only distributed in Pharamacies. I will allow legit pateints to recieve it and keep the drug dealers and pleasure seekers out.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 7:47 p.m.

god knows we sure don't want no Pleasure Seekers.... Cannabis cannot be sold in Pharmacies because the FDA cannot / will not approve it. Dr's cannot prescribe it for the same reasons. If you support Prohibition you support the violent drug cartels. Legalize, License and Regulate Cannabis for Adults, is a Win Win for All, it takes the violent drug cartels out of the picture, the State get's revenue, those who use it as Medicine will have access, those who enjoy it for,god forbid,Pleasure will be giving their dollars to the government instead of the drug cartels, and those who choose to Not use Cannabis can continue to abstain knowing that their tax dollars aren't being pissed away on a failed War on Drugs.

Milton Shift

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 7:23 p.m.

You can't grow it if you can't get plants or seeds. The Court of Appeals ruling banned sale of the finished product, live plants, and seeds.

Not from around here

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:57 p.m.

Once again, this is not a matter of mine, or anyones, veiw of MJ as a recreational Drug. That wasn't on the ballet, that wasn't what people voted for. If this is indeed Medicine, instead of recreation, than Pharmacies should handle it. If not the large national corporate entities, than how about our local independants or, better yet, hoispital pharmacies.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:07 p.m.

Did you really think CVS and Walgreen's were suddenly going to start dispensing cannabis because Michigan passed their medical law? Seriously? You honestly believed it was just going to be like going to the store to get some aspirin? LOL I'm sorry if that was really your belief, but until it becomes FEDERALLY legal, none of these corporate pharmacies are going to carry cannabis on their shelves. That was why there were dispensaries in the first place, because there is no other way for people to get their cannabis. CVS is certainly not going to risk a federal raid to sell cannabis when they already have legal pills and medicines to sell. Secondly what is wrong if people want to smoke cannabis for recreation? Do you care if people drink beer or wine? When you see someone drinking a can of Bud do you immediately wish they were in jail with their freedom taken away? Why do you wish the same for people that choose to use cannabis?

just a voice

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 1:11 p.m.

so where do you go to get your medical marijuana card now if all the dispensaries are closed?

Milton Shift

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 7:23 p.m.

You can't grow it if you can't get plants or seeds. The Court of Appeals ruling banned sale of the finished product, live plants, and seeds.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:33 p.m.

Same place you always get it; from a legitimate doctor for a legitimate reason. Nothing has changed in that regard.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3 p.m.

They're still there they are just not located in the dispensaries now. Google is your friend

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 2:36 p.m.

the question isn't where you get your card, you get that from a doctor. The question is, where do you get your pot? The law allows you to grow it, or get it from a provider who is allowed to grow for a maximum of 5 patients if memory serves. If you have a card the cops aren't really going to ask how you get your pot.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 1:07 p.m.

Don't forget that this kind of jackboot anti-Americanism is backed by Republicans and Democrats alike. Naturally, keeping recreational and medicinal drugs like marijuana illegal makes for a convenient source of funding for their pet projects, agendas, and personal coffers. Keeping the fear bar raised high is pretty effective social control. Fortunately there are more and more outspoken critics on both sides of the spectrum, and momentum to decriminalize recreational drugs is increasing. In the mean time, congratulations to the politicians, who are becoming ever richer and more corrupted by special interest groups, while the rest of us can't even smoke a joint or possess $20 worth of weed without fear of going to jail. There is no &quot;lesser of two evils&quot; when it comes to Democrats and Republicans. By that very definition, both sides are evil. Vote corruption and greed out of office in 2012!!!

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 1 p.m.

When I vote &quot;yes&quot; for medical marijuana &quot;my back hurts&quot; wasn't how I envisioned folks could get a card. Yet that is exactly how all 3 folks I know with cards got them. &quot;Chronic back pain&quot;. Between that and dispensaries that aren't really provided for the law was poorly crafted and ripe for abuse IMO. In the big scheme legalization like alcohol and tobacco is probably the more practical &quot;solution&quot;

Basic Bob

Thu, Sep 8, 2011 : 2:59 a.m.

&quot;Do you want them taking highly addictive heroin-type pain drugs....&quot; Definitely not! A women was just convicted of hit-and-run driving over two people in Ypsilanti, after taking non-prescribed synthetic opioids. Perhaps it all started with a little pain. &quot;Medical&quot; doctors, the government, and Big Pharma condone the production and distribution of dangerous drugs which they are ultimately unable to control.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

Amen Milton. Using back pain as an &quot;excuse&quot; to obtain medical marijuana is certainly an option for some devious folks, but it is also a very real treatment for legitimate pain for others. People who only want to smoke recreationally can find pot already.... they didn't need dispensaries to open up just to find it.

Milton Shift

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 7:21 p.m.

Do you want them taking highly addictive heroin-type pain drugs such as Vicodin, Percocet, and Morphine instead? Because that's the only alternative. And don't downplay back pain, I have a friend who got hit by a car and had a crushed vertebrae and she would slap you silly. The pain was so severe it truly dominated her life, and she found marijuana actually worked BETTER than the addictive Oxycontin (same high and addictiveness as heroin) the doctors shoveled down her throat.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 4:27 p.m.

&quot;I'm glad you are catching on to what we have been saying &quot; I caught on in around 1972-1973 when I was 20 years old. How old are you?


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 2:59 p.m.

And that is what people have been saying for DECADES but for some reason the &quot;anti's&quot; think that regulating cannabis in any form other than complete prohibition is not an option. I'm glad you are catching on to what we have been saying now, and it's not just &quot;potheads&quot; saying it

David Briegel

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 12:57 p.m.

What a refreshing surprise, four voices of sanity amongst the babbling rabble. Where are all the defenders of the protectors of Prohibition? It is absolutely amazing that our public leaders are leading us in this effort to prove that old axiom that Prohibition really works. We can do it better because we are so much smarter and we have such great technology. Well, your cause is NOT just. Americans will generally support justice. You are failing because you are wrong and your cause is NOT just. America will go bankrupt because America is no longer just.

Not from around here

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 3:04 p.m.

Explaining my values would be completely off topic, as is your comment regarding overall prohibition and America going &quot;bankrupt&quot; because the state is enforcing the law that you supported and voted for. There was no Law on the ballet for repailing the ban on MJ, that would be inviolation of the federal law. The vote was on allowing it used medicinally under a doctors care. The Dispensaries were not part of the law. It states that the pateint can grow his own or recieve it from a licenced care giver, not in a dispensary.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 2:56 p.m.

Where did David blame all of America for the drug prohibition? Seems to me he is (rightfully) placing the blame on the people that are still championing this futile drug war effort. He is not speaking against the whole of the country only the select few who think that locking people up over a plant is a &quot;just cause&quot;. You must take that position if you feel threatened by his comment! Says a whole lot about what you believe in and who you are as a person and a citizen than anything about David.

Not from around here

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 1:20 p.m.

And if you really want MMJ, lets only allow it to be distributed in Licenced pharmacies and require a legit script. If that is to onerous for you than maybe people aren't using it medicinal, but recreational. And no one voted for that!

Not from around here

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 1:18 p.m.

everything you write seems to be down on America, why are you still hear? It's not the 60's, a new generation is comming into control and they have the say now.

David Briegel

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 1:16 p.m.

And now you prove my very first statement!

Not from around here

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 1:09 p.m.

See I knew it was America's Fault. Thank you for pointing out what an Evil nation we live in. (Sarcasm)


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 12:51 p.m.

I hate wehn I see my tax dollars being spent on jack-booted-ski-masked 'police' to enforec a harmless substance that I voted to legalize for medical use. Where is our future heading? Scary indeed.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 12:44 p.m.

So back to the &quot;war on drugs&quot; that we have already lost as there is pot available in every city, town and burg in America. Funding the war has cost up hundreds of billions when you add it up: Jails, Police, Prisions, Parole officers, Courts, Labs for testing drugs, and the billions spent being sent to other countries to &quot;supress&quot; drugs. If we had spent that money on something that accomplished something, we could have great roads, funded social security and more. WHAT A WASTE OF RESOURCES FIGHTING A LOST CAUSE. Perhaps we should make booze illegal once more as well, then we could spend even more.


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 2:50 p.m.

I've been saying for years we need to repeal the 21st amendment. Let's see how THAT would go down.

John A2

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 12:27 p.m.

They want the drug cartels to keep paying them. Drugs take lots of tax money, to operate and prosecute, the prison inmate population would dwindle if pot were as easy to get..


Wed, Sep 7, 2011 : 12:14 p.m.

The drug cartels are loving this! More money for them. More killing to be done to protect turf. Why? So the Attorney General can &quot;keep government out of out lives&quot;!