Farmington Hills Officials Approve Fourth Deferral on Medical Marijuana Decision
Mayor Pro Tem Richard Lerner believes it's time to stop postponing action on local ordinances pertaining to medical marijuana land uses.
Farmington Hills city council members on Monday approved a fourth extension of a moratorium on decisions about medical marijuana land uses, but one official believes it may soon be time to stop "kicking the can - or cannabis - down the road."
Mayor Pro Tem Richard Lerner said he would support the deferral through June 13, 2013, but pointed out the ordinance was first introduced in 2010. He suggested bringing the topic back to a study session.
"I think one resolution and four deferrals ought to be pretty close to our limit," he said.
Officials have, over the past two years, held a number of study sessions discussing the local issues raised by Michigan's voter-approved Medical Marihuana Act. The current deferral period expires Dec. 14, city attorney Steve Joppich said.
He noted some "fairly significant and on point cases" are moving through the appellate courts. In addition, a Court of Appeals decision on the role of federal versus local laws is being reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, he said.
Council member Ken Massey also pointed out that two states, Colorado and Washington, have made marijuana completely legal.
"At the end of the day, there are things going on at even the federal level that are changing," he said. "The idea of deferring this just makes a lot of sense."
"It's just too fluid at this point it time to nail down an ordinance that would help all of our residents," Mayor Barry Brickner said.
Brickner cast the lone vote against an ordinance introduced in December of 2010 that would have prohibited land uses that violate local, state or federal laws. He believed the local law would interfere with the rights of medical marijuana card holders. Officials tabled the ordinance in January of 2011.
Council member Randy Bruce also agreed it would be appropriate to defer action once again, "given that Twinkies are no longer available."