Medical marijuana is a complicated issue and it elicits strong opinions from sides pro and con. I’m glad that the Muskegon City Commission is considering saying yes to cannabis and not closing the door completely on this medical and economic development issue.
As the commission discusses and decides about medical marijuana businesses in Muskegon, it is important that they acknowledge that marijuana is medicine, deemed so by the State of Michigan. For a productive conversation, commissioners must suspend any prejudices and notions about anything beyond that fact.
MARIJUANA Doesn’t Kill People.
As you know, opioid overdoses take the lives of citizens every single day and in 2016, 35 Muskegon County citizens died from opioid overdoses. This figure doesn’t account for those who overdosed and were rescued.
According to the drug enforcement administration, there are no (zero, zilch, nada) reported overdose deaths from cannabis. Weed can’t kill you. Period. Cannabis does kill pain and it has properties—cannabinoids—that can be used as an opioid substitute.
One of the most interesting and powerful things about medical marijuana is its efficacy for epilepsy and other neurological diseases. The Epilepsy Foundation and its Michigan affiliate have both stated that cannabis is effective for seizures and is worthy of further research.
People in Muskegon Need Local Medicine.
In Muskegon County, there are 4,300 people who have medical marijuana cards. Presently, unless they have a caregiver who grows plants for them, they have to go to as far as Lansing to a dispensary to purchase their medicine. This isn’t right or even fair. If you are suffering from pain, undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, have Crohn’s Disease or epilepsy you should not have to travel outside your community to buy medicine. For people in our community, people who already might be living in less than ideal work or financial situation due to health, this is an undue burden.
If you are suffering from pain, undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, have Crohn’s Disease or epilepsy you should not have to travel outside your community to buy medicine. For people in our community, people who already might be living in less than ideal work or financial situation due to health, this is an undue burden.
Almost ten years ago, voters in the State of Michigan said that medical marijuana should be legalized; yet it (the State) has made it difficult for people to get medicine. By voting yes, the commission will help residents of Muskegon County and the counties that surround us. Patients from around West Michigan will spend money in Muskegon because of this decision.
Tax Revenue for the City of Muskegon.
Cannabis can only be sold to patients with specific illnesses and those people must have a state-approved card that allows them to buy medicine. Thanks to new licensing regulations from the State of Michigan the quality, testing and production of cannabis medicine is going to get better for patients.
Communities that provide zoning to allow marijuana businesses will reap the benefits of patients buying medicine in their municipalities. Cannabis businesses have the potential to bring in significant tax revenue and jobs to Muskegon. Imagine guidelines for these new enterprises that require cannabis businesses to guarantee that 50 percent of their employees are residents of the city of Muskegon.
Medical marijuana will be highly regulated and the licensing fees are expensive. Entrepreneurs wanting to create businesses in Muskegon are very serious about what they are planning. I am sure that they will operate well-managed businesses—they have much at stake, both personal and financial.
To the commission, your decision and your vote will be as business savvy as it is compassionate.
Again, I want to acknowledge your diligence and forward-looking views as you decide on this important issue and I hope Muskegon will be on the right side of cannabis history.