Medical marijuana moratorium extended

FLINT TWP. — “This is the last time I am going to vote yes on a moratorium,’’ township trustee Frank Kasle said just after the township board voted Monday night to extend for at least the third time its moratorium on medical marihuana uses.

Township Supervisor Karyn Miller and Trustee Belenda Parker voted no in the 4-2 decision to extend until Oct. 4 a moratorium dating back to February 2010. Trustee Barb Vert was absent.

Despite his yes vote, Kasle echoed Parker in pushing to “get on with” adoption of the township’s ordinance governing Medical Marihuana Uses including dispensaries, clubs, centers, clinics and nurseries.

Kasle noted that it has been more than two years since Michigan voters approved legalization of medical marihuana uses.

“I think it is unfortunate that we keep having a moratorium when some people out there need this service,’’ Kasle said. “We have had plenty of time to do it. All I am saying Madam Supervisor is that you make certain that we have the workshop to discuss it thoroughly, that we have the proper legal opinions and we get this done within the time frame that this new fourth time around calls for.”

Miller said that the ordinance, which had been sent back to the Planning Commission for revision months ago, has been approved by township attorney Peter Goodstein and is ready to go. She said copies had been sent to board members for feedback but none have been forthcoming.

“I am ready to vote on it,’’ she said in response to comments by Kasle and Parker. But she also said Goodstein had cautioned board members to take more time on passing the ordinance if they had any doubts about it.

Clerk Kim Courts said board members had been given information about the liability of elected officials on this issue. She said a workshop to resolve concerns is being arranged after the July 4 holiday but no date has been set.

Parker noted that a workshop about the ordinance was supposed to have been set up after the previous moratorium extension in March.

Township board voted in December to extend the moratorium to March of this year. In March, it was extended to July 1.

Kasle’s asked to include in this latest moratorium a statement that it would be the last one. His request was not met.

“There are more important issues for us to spend a year talking about,’’ Kasle said.

Trustee George Menoutes, who said he was in the pharmaceutical business for 50 years, said marihuana is being classified as a painkiller.

“If you need a painkiller, you go to the doctor and get a prescription,’’ he said. “That way you have control of it.

“We need to review this and study this well. They are going to have stores down there like party stores. They are going to have the police department down there working 24 hours overtime. So we better be careful how we handle this and how we create the ordinance and the workshop.’’

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