Law
5:34 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Wyoming will appeal court’s decision overruling city’s medical marijuana ban

The Grand Rapids suburb of Wyoming will appeal a judge’s ruling that overturned its ban of medical marijuana. Wyoming is one of a handful of Michigan cities with an outright medical marijuanna ban. Others have instituted zoning restrictions.

Wyoming City Manager Curtis Holt says city council worries that medical marijuana will increase crime and cause confusion for police.

“If you have a medical marijuana card and you are using it legally nobody’s been arrested – we’re not doing that and we haven’t pursued that. It’s the growth and distribution of it that we believe is truly a violation of federal law,” Holt said. "There’s a basic problem with clarity."

City council also believes it'll cause safety issues too. "We know that there is a certain criminal element that may take advantage of that type of growing operation,” Holt said.

Michigan’s Court of Appeals struck down Wyoming’s medical marijuana ban last month. The court said the state medical marijuana law does not violate the federal Controlled Substances Act. The judges say any prosecution under federal laws would be up to the federal government, not local governments.

The court of appeals said as long as patients are abiding by state laws, cities can't punish them.

Holt says the city plans to file the appeal next week.