I Court Ruling Shuts Down Medical Marijuana Dispensaries


Medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan may have to close their doors after a potentially far-reaching court decision declared one of them, Compassionate Apothecary in Mt. Pleasant, a public nuisance. The unanimous 3-judge panel ruling of the state Court of Appeals was declared a statewide precedent by Attorney General Bill Schuette, an opponent of the 2008 voter-passed law legalizing marijuana for medical use, reports the Detroit Free Press. “The court made it clear that these dispensaries, these pot shops, have to be closed down,” he said.

At issue was whether certified users could store pot and sell excess to other patients. Many of the nearly 100,000 Michiganders certified to use marijuana for pain relief go to dispensaries. Patients also can grow their own pot or get it from a caregiver. Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine estimates 400 to 500 dispensaries are in business statewide. Michigan voters approved the use of medical marijuana in 2008, but police, prosecutors, lawyers and judges are still arguing over what they approved. “Nobody voted to have pot shops across from schools and churches,” Schuette said. “The court of appeals unanimously cleared the air that these dispensaries, these pot shops — really drug houses — are not legal. “

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