"It clarifies to municipalities that they can't take their own personal opinions on their board and reflect them in their ordinances," Pollicella said. "State law is state law."Additionally, the court ruled that because "it's not physically impossible" to comply with the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act and the federal Controlled Substances Act simultaneously, the state law is not pre-empted by the federal law on the basis of impossibility.
Kaitlin Fink, substance abuse and prevention coordinator for the Livingston County Community Alliance, said awareness of medical marijuana needs to continue as a public priority, in addition to providing support to those in recovery.
"We just need to get on the same page," she said of local, state and federal governments' medical marijuana laws.
Marijuana is considered a "public nuisance" under the village of Fowlerville's grass and weeds ordinance, disallowing residents from growing the substance within 160 feet of the lot or its depth, whichever is lesser.
Village President Wayne Copeland said changes needed — if any — to ordinances pertaining to medical marijuana will need to be run by Village Attorney David Stoker and could take up to 90 days for processing.
The most recent effort to mandate medical marijuana rules on the local level was the Brighton Township Board of Trustees' acceptance of language for a zoning-ordinance amendment that prohibits uses that violate federal, state or local laws in any zoning district. However, Township Supervisor Tom Murphy said an applicant could file an appeal and go to the Zoning Board of Appeals.





Despite efforts to clarify what some call a vague law, Livingston County municipalities are being forced back to the drawing board — along with their growing number of ordinances pertaining to medical marijuana.Michigan cities and townships cannot bar the cultivation and use of medical marijuana, according to a state appellate court's opinion released Wednesday.
The unanimous three-judge panel said cities and townships cannot enforce ordinances that penalize residents for the use of medical marijuana while in conformity with the 2008 Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.
Local governments also cannot use the federal prohibition on marijuana as an excuse to ban it, the opinion reads.
"Obviously, a lot of communities are going to have to go back and investigate ordinances we've passed," said Rebecca Foster, Pinckney Village Council president.
Wednesday's decision dealt with a zoning ordinance in the city of Wyoming, a few miles southwest of Grand Rapids.
In 2010, Wyoming amended its city code to enact a zoning ordinance making punishable the use, manufacture or cultivation of medical marijuana. That violates the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, the court's opinion reads. The law was passed in response to a citizen-driven statewide ballot issue, where 60 percent of voters approved the use of medical marijuana.
Since then, the law's interpretation has been uneven as communities attempted to legislate so-called dispensaries, where marijuana is stored and distributed to multiple holders of marijuana cards. Individuals as well have been prosecuted for growing or possessing marijuana even though they have a state-issued medical marijuana card.
The Wyoming ordinance came into question when a city resident filed a complaint seeking declaratory relief from the law, though he hadn't been charged with violating the ordinance or subjected to any penalties or fines.
The ruling comes as a significant victory to advocates of medical marijuana, who claim local governments have "brilliantly" tried to thwart the law with "clever" zoning ordinances, according to Denise Pollicella, an attorney who represents medical marijuana patients and care clubs throughout southeast Michigan. It's another step toward clarifying gray issues in the state law, she said. "It clarifies to municipalities that they can't take their own personal opinions on their board and reflect them in their ordinances," Pollicella said. "State law is state law."Additionally, the court ruled that because "it's not physically impossible" to comply with the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act and the federal Controlled Substances Act simultaneously, the state law is not pre-empted by the federal law on the basis of impossibility.
Kaitlin Fink, substance abuse and prevention coordinator for the Livingston County Community Alliance, said awareness of medical marijuana needs to continue as a public priority, in addition to providing support to those in recovery.
"We just need to get on the same page," she said of local, state and federal governments' medical marijuana laws.
Marijuana is considered a "public nuisance" under the village of Fowlerville's grass and weeds ordinance, disallowing residents from growing the substance within 160 feet of the lot or its depth, whichever is lesser.
Village President Wayne Copeland said changes needed — if any — to ordinances pertaining to medical marijuana will need to be run by Village Attorney David Stoker and could take up to 90 days for processing.
The most recent effort to mandate medical marijuana rules on the local level was the Brighton Township Board of Trustees' acceptance of language for a zoning-ordinance amendment that prohibits uses that violate federal, state or local laws in any zoning district. However, Township Supervisor Tom Murphy said an applicant could file an appeal and go to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

: Source