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Detroit could consider medical marijuana ordinance


The Detroit City Council could consider an ordinance to regulate medical pot dispensaries this month.

Council member James Tate says Detroit is experiencing an “oversaturation” of dispensaries, and that city leaders need to do something.

But Tate says the city needs to be careful in crafting that ordinance.

“The challenge that we have is that we have to make sure we’re within the legal parameters of … what we’re allowed to do,” Tate said, adding: “We want to make sure that we don’t end up allowing these entities to create a bigger industry.”

Tate says people who truly need medical marijuana should be able to get it, but without causing undue hardship for city neighborhoods.

He plans to introduce the ordinance later this month.

Detroit resident Joan Risgin told council members this week that her neighborhood’s commercial areas have been inundated with dispensaries, many of them violating the state’s medical marijuana law with things like drive-throughs.

“The legislative bodies on both state and city level have let us down,” Risgin said. “The repeated failure to license, zone and monitor has left us with another lawless environment in my backyard.”

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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