September 08, 2010 It's unfortunate that valuable and increasingly scarce resources are being consumed in the murky waters of Michigan's 2008 Medical Marihuana Act.
Over the past several months, local municipalities have been spending meeting time debating the best way to keep pot from storefronts and fields—the issue foisted onto an attorney's desk whose compensation is taxpayer funded.
Now we've got law enforcement involved. Spending hours and resources wading through evidence seized during last week's search of a medical marijuana dispensary in Dryden. With county budget shortfalls, employee layoffs, job eliminations, threats of parks closing and E-911 systems failing, it's a wonder if voters had any idea that their hard earned tax dollars would go up in smoke in what is bound to be a lengthy and protracted debate regarding interpretation of the law.
While local taxpayers fund the "policing" of the dispensary in Dryden, the battle will wage on in courtrooms across the state where only the attorneys, it seems, will benefit.
Would taxpayers have voted to approve the Medical Marihuana Act of 2008 if they knew their local officials would be consuming time and resources debating the interpretation of the law? Would "patients" be so eager to thrust their new ability to legally obtain and smoke pot into the forefront? Probably.
It's obvious that those who drafted the law were purposeful in their use of vague language. The debate is likely less about medicine and more about moving toward the decriminalization of marijuana. And the debate is not going to end anytime soon.
In the meantime, we're being double-dipped. The state needs to set some guidelines. Soon. We've got more important things to pay for.