By [email protected] (616) 546-4219
HOLLAND TOWNSHIP — Medical marijuana users in West Michigan want to have a closer place to get products.
About 40 people showed up to the Holland Township Board of Trustees meeting on May 3, some speaking in support of medical marijuana and asking the township to allow medical marijuana facilities within its borders.
“People are here tonight to talk about medicine,” said Paula Givens, a medical marijuana compliance attorney from Oak Park who spoke at the meeting. “What we’re asking (the board) to do is pass an ordinance for the people who live here to be able to get their medicine here.”
The township board heard from Givens, as well as WEMET Lt. Andy Fias, who has given presentations in multiple municipalities against the use of marijuana. The board did not have any formal decisions on the agenda regarding medical marijuana; Holland Township has banned those facilities.
Medical marijuana is legal in Michigan, but municipalities can opt out of allowing facilities.
Multiple people spoke about chronic pain, being prescribed multiple opioids and driving many miles to get the medical marijuana they say soothes their pain.
George Duke spoke on behalf of his wife, who has multiple sclerosis and is a medical marijuana cardholder.
“She needs this drug to be able to thrive,” she said. “It’s not fair that as a cardholder she has to leave this area to purchase medical marijuana.”
John Sanchez arrived at the meeting with a large bag full of prescription pill bottles, saying he was prescribed them after multiple back surgeries before he told his doctor to stop prescribing them. He said smoking “helps kill his pain.”
Givens advocated for the citizens who spoke, saying that medical marijuana in Michigan is “secure, safe, tested and highly-regulated.”
“Nobody here is proposing they be