Mich. AG joins suit against Big Daddy's marijuana dispensary

Bryan Cohen Oct. 24, 2011, 12:40pm


LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline) - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced on Monday that a Macomb County judge has granted his request to join a Chesterfield Township lawsuit to close a marijuana dispensary.

The township filed the lawsuit in July to have the Big Daddy's marijuana dispensary declared a public nuisance and closed. The Michigan Court of Appeals has since ruled that dispensaries are not permitted under Michigan law, but the dispensary has continued to operate in the township.

"Across Michigan, our communities are struggling with an invasion of pot shops near their schools, homes and churches," Schuette said. "Local governments have the right to protect their communities from illegal marijuana dispensaries."

Macomb County Circuit Court Judge John Foster held a hearing on Monday to consider issues related to the township's request to close the dispensary. Schuette filed a request to join the case as it moves forward and Foster granted his request Monday.

Schuette said that the court ruled earlier this year in People v. McQueen that the Michigan Marihuana Act does not authorize dispensaries and said he supports the efforts by local governments and prosecutors to shut them down.

The court concluded that the MMMA does not legalize marijuana and that it authorizes the use of marijuana in only very limited circumstances and that medical use of marijuana does not include the sale of marihuana. The court also said that the MMMA does not authorize marijuana dispensaries and that the courts can infer that a dispensary's purpose is not to alleviate a debilitating medical condition.

Earlier this year, Schuette joined Midland County Prosecutor Michael Carpenter and Isabella County Prosecutor Larry Burdick in support of their efforts to close dispensaries in their respective communities.

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