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Detroiters ask for rules to stop "dangerous and unnecessary" pot shop proliferation

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Detroit’s planning commission got an earful from residents about medical pot dispensaries Thursday night.

The city is considering an ordinance outlining new zoning and spacing restrictions for marijuana dispensaries.

The Detroit City Council has already passed new licensing and inspection rules.

Most residents at the hearing said such regulations are much-needed, while a few thought the rules could place an undue burden on legitimate patients.

Pam Weinstein, who lives in Detroit’s Rosedale Park neighborhood, says she supports “legitimate” medical marijuana patients and their caregivers.

“What I don’t support is what’s going on in our neighborhood right now,” Weinstein said. “We are overwhelmed with the number of dispensaries that are popping up literally every day.”

Detroit Police Commissioner Reginald Crawford said police commissioners oppose the “dangerous and unnecessary proliferation” of pot facilities in the city.

“We have more marijuana dispensaries in the city of Detroit than there are CVS’s and Rite Aids,” Crawford said.

According to a recent report, there are about 150 unregulated medical marijuana dispensaries currently operating in Detroit. Many residents say they degrade quality of life and are magnets for crime.

The proposed ordinance would set 2,000-foot spacing requirements for dispensaries, and mandate 1,000-foot limits from schools, churches, and parks.

The planning commission will vote on whether to recommend the ordinance, but the Detroit City Council has final say.    

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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