Kris Runstrom

Detroit Advocates Challenge City Ordinances Targeting MMJ Dispensaries

Detroit-based cannabis activists submitted two different petitions on Tuesday to repeal a set of ordinances that would have heavily restricted the licensing and zoning of medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.  Under Detroit referendum laws, once a petition against an ordinance has been accepted, said ordinance is put on hold until either the petition campaign is denied approval or the voters decide the issue during a general election.

The petitions have been verified — meaning that cannabis activists have temporarily prevented a series of dispensary shutdowns that would would have dramatically limited patients’ access to medicinal cannabis. Now the issue will be put to voters in the August primary election ballot.

However, the numbers were tight: one petition was verified with 4,087 signatures — just 32 more than the law requires.

The ordinances in question were passed by the Detroit City Council last October and December, and would have led to the shutdown of about half of Detroit’s operating dispensaries.

“The strategy of ‘never quit’ worked,” wrote cannabis activist and journalist Rick Thompson.

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