Battle Over Local Bans On Medical Marijuana Set For Michigan Supreme Court

MICHIGAN: The Michigan Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a landmark case Thursday that will decide whether Michigan communities can bar medical marijuana within their borders and possibly whether Michiganders can keep using marijuana at all for health purposes.

Those joining forces against medical cannabis include the State Bar of Michigan and the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, both of which contend that the entire state act allowing medical marijuana should be thrown out.

Yet that would nullify the wishes of the 63% of Michigan voters who passed the act into law in 2008, according to opposing groups that include the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and the conservative Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.

Detroiter Tim Beck, 61, who for years has pushed to relax marijuana laws, said a handful of Michigan communities passed bans on medical marijuana “that carry serious penalties, and that includes jail time.” The ordinances “didn’t even mention medical marijuana — they just said any activity that was illegal under federal law was also illegal in their community,” Beck said.

In Wyoming, a Grand Rapids suburb of about 73,000 residents, retired attorney John Ter Beek sued in 2010 to overturn a medical cannabis ban. Ter Beek is a state-registered user who has diabetes and a painful neurological disorder, according to the lawsuit.

Ter Beek lost in a local court but won in the Michigan Court of Appeals. In April, the Michigan Supreme Court granted the city of Wyoming’s request to appeal.

Read full article @ Detroit Free Press